Security and Climate Change: The Limits of Realism (Routledge Research in Environmentalpolitics)

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Security and Climate Change: The Limits of Realism (Routledge Research in Environmentalpolitics)

Security and Climate Change This scholarly work provides a distinct critique of the Realist argument. It seeks to explai

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Security and Climate Change This scholarly work provides a distinct critique of the Realist argument. It seeks to explain why the international community has responded with a sense of fatalistic passivity to climate change. The author argues that this Realist view rests on a dangerous contradiction; far from delivering security it serves to limit the way we think about the new generation of risks we face. The book explores the limits of a Realist perspective with regard to “non-traditional” threats such as climate change. Focusing on a major Realist text, John Mearsheimer’s The Tragedy of Great Power Politics, Mark J.Lacy: ● interrogates the foundation of the hierarchy of security that emerges in this Realist argument; ● challenges the view that Realism is a tragic perspective by arguing that Realism is built on a number of techno-optimistic assumptions; ● links the Realist perspective to corporate interest in the United States. Security and Climate Change moves from the intellectual foundations of Realism, to the activities of think-tanks such as the Cato Institute, through to the Clinton Administration’s attempt to articulate a different politics of security. Lacy introduces readers to debates in International Relations theory and the broader issues at stake in the development of United States current foreign policy. Mark J.Lacy is currently a lecturer in the Department of Politics and International Relations at Lancaster University. He has published articles in Environmental Politics, Millenium: Journal of International Studies, and Alternative: Global, Local, Political.

Environmental Politics/Routledge Research in Environmental Politics Edited by Matthew Paterson University of Ottawa and Graham Smith University of Southampton

Over recent years environmental politics has moved from a peripheral interest to a central concern within the discipline of politics. This series aims to reinforce this trend through the publication of books that investigate the nature of contemporary environmental politics and show the centrality of environmental politics to the study of politics per se. The series understands politics in a broad sense and books will focus on mainstream issues such as the policy process and new social movements as well as emerging areas such as cultural politics and political economy. Books in the series will analyse contemporary political practices with regards to the environment and/or explore possible future directions for the ‘greening’ of contemporary politics. The series will be of interest not only to academics and students working in the environmental field, but will also demand to be read within the broader discipline. The series consists of two strands: Environmental Politics addresses the needs of students and teachers, and the titles will be published in paperback and hardback. Titles include: Global Warming and Global Politics Matthew Paterson Politics and the Environment James Connelly and Graham Smith International Relations Theory and Ecological Thought Towards synthesis Edited by Eric Lafferière and Peter Stoett Planning Sustainability Edited by Michael Kenny and James Meadowcroft Deliberative Democracy and the Environment Graham Smith

EU Enlargement and the Environment Institutional change and environmental policy in Central and Eastern Europe Edited by JoAnn Carmin and Stacy D.VanDeveer Routledge Research in Environmental Politics presents innovative new research intended for high-level specialist readership. These titles are published in hardback only and include: 1 The Emergence of Ecological Modernisation Integrating the environment and the economy? Stephen C.Young 2 Ideas and Actions in the Green Movement Brian Doherty 3 Russia and the West Environmental cooperation and conflict Geir Hønneland 4 Global Warming and East Asia The domestic and international politics of climate change Edited by Paul G.Harris 5 Europe, Globalization and Sustainable Development Edited by John Barry, Brian Baxter and Richard Dunphy 6 The Politics of GM Food A comparative study of the UK, USA and EU Dave Toke 7 Environmental Policy in Europe The Europeanization of national environmental policy Edited by Andrew Jordan and Duncan Liefferink 8 A Theory of Ecological Justice Brian Baxter 9 Security and Climate Change International relations and the limits of Realism Mark J.Lacy 10 The Environment and International Politics International fisheries, Heidegger and social method Hakan Seckinelgin

Security and Climate Change International relations and the limits of Realism

Mark J.Lacy

LONDON AND NEW YORK

First published 2005 by Routledge 2 Park Square, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon OX14 4RN Simultaneously published in the USA and Canada by Routledge 270 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10016 Routledge is an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group This edition published in the Taylor & Francis e-Library, 2005. “To purchase your own copy of this or any of Taylor & Francis or Routledge’s collection of thousands of eBooks please go to http://www.ebookstore.tandf.co.uk/. © 2005 Mark J.Lacy All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or utilized in any form or by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publishers. British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data Lacy, Mark J. Security and climate change: international relations and the limits of Realism/Mark J.Lacy.-1st ed. p. cm.—(Routledge research in environmental politics) Includes bibliographical references and index. 1. Climate changesEnvironmental aspects. 2. Environmental policy- International cooperation. 3. Global environmental change-International cooperation. I. Title. II. Series. QC981.8.C5L33 2005 363.738′74526–dc22 2004021926 ISBN 0-203-35689-6 Master e-book ISBN

ISBN 0-203-66931-2 (Adobe e-Reader Format) ISBN 0-415-32408-4 (Print Edition)

For Claire

Reports that say that something hasn’t happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns—the ones we don’t know we don’t know. And if one looks throughout the history of our country and other free countries, it is the latter category that tend to be the difficult ones. (Donald Rumsfeld, United States Secretary of Defense, 2003) For the more thought can circumscribe its enemy, the more it can concentrate its strength. In determining the enemy, thought is able to create its own space, to extend it, to breathe freely. (Pierre Klossowski, Nietzsche and the Vicious Circle, 1997)

Contents Acknowledgments

ix

1

Introduction: the tragedy of Realism

1

2

The world is a laboratory

23

3

Illusions of Realism

44

4

Mearsheimer and the vicious circle

72

5

Conclusion

100

Notes

122

Index

130

Acknowledgments I owe a considerable debt to the many friends and colleagues who have encouraged me over the past years. Conversations with Neil Cooper and Mike Pugh in the James Street Vault, Plymouth, reminded me why I became interested in International Relations in the first place. During the same period, Claire Heristchi put up with my “organized irresponsibility” for too long: her support was essential to the completion of the book. Graduate students at the University of Bristol allowed me the indulgence of testing out the arguments in a course on environmental security: at the University of Lancaster, Matt Macdonald was a useful realist critic. Simon Dalby and Matthew Paterson provided useful insights into earlier drafts: this book is very much a “footnote” to the interrogations of ecopolitics and (in)security that they have developed in recent years. As an Economic Social Research Council-funded graduate student at the University of Sussex, Julian Saurin provided me with the freedom and guidance to pursue the lines of thought that have filtered into this book; Justin Rosenberg, Kees van der Pijl, Beate Jahn and Alex Colas inspired me to read books I might otherwise not have considered. Similarly, Branwen Gruffydd Jones, Laura Maritano, Henry Neale and Kevin Love were good friends and interlocutors to have as a graduate student. I was fortunate to complete the book at the University of Lancaster where Cindy Weber, Mick Dillon, Adam Morton, Mark Duffield, Christine Aguis, and Peter Wilkin offered useful last minute comments and observations. Finally, I would like to thank my parents, Ann and Ed, for providing support during the writing of the thesis that is the basis for this book. In the preface to the book that forms the basis of the critique developed here—John Mearsheimer’s The Tragedy of Great Power Politics (2001)—the author makes a point that I am in total agreement with, citing C.Wright Mills’ advice on the art of academic writing: You are to assume that you have been asked to give a lecture on some subject you know well, before an audience of teachers and students from all departments of a leading university, as well as an assortment of interested people from a nearby city. Assume that such an audience is before you and that they have a right to know; assume that you want to let them know. Now Write. Like Mearsheimer, I hope that the advice of Mills has been well taken here.

1 Introduction The tragedy of Realism In the most general sense of progressive thought, the Enlightenment has always aimed at liberating men from fear and establishing their sovereignty. Yet the fully enlightened earth radiates disaster triumphant. (Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer, Dialectic of Enlightenment, 1947)

The Realist of International Relations views the modern world in terms of tragedy. The tragedy of the modern world is that the insecurity of existence cannot be overcome by enlightened human reason, reason articulated through cosmopolitan economies, ethics and identities. Writing from the perspective of critical social theory, Zygmunt Bauman argues that without modern civilization, without the “whole assortment of achievements of which we are otherwise so proud,” the Holocaust would be “unthinkable.”1 Similarly, Michel Foucault observes that wars were “never as bloody as they have been since the nineteenth century, and all things being equal, never before did regimes visit such holocausts on their own populations.”2 But while Bauman and Foucault may share the pessimism of the Realist of International Relations on the “fully enlightened earth,” they would raise a sense of anxiety about the Realist response to this condition of insecurity, violence and danger: this book is concerned with illuminating some of the dangers contained in the Realist politics of security. It is the contention of this book that contemporary Realism works to limit the possibilities for responding to the “tragedy” and insecurity of the modern world. The course that I pursue is concerned with interrogating the foundations of the Realist politics of security, paying attention to the seemingly unproblematic assumptions that work to secure the Realist perspective inside and outside the discipline of International Relations. Now if the state is to respond to this condition of global insecurity and uncertainty, the Realist argues, we must not lose sight of the fundamental “truths” of geopolitics—that human nature is flawed and/or that the anarchic structure of international relations makes insecurity inevitable. To ignore the “reality” of Great Power Politics is dangerous, leaving the state open to attack, humiliation and domination; it is “irresponsible” and “immature,” the story goes, to ignore Realist techniques of power and security. This book aims to raise a sense of anxiety about the Realist desire to produce a “traditional” and authoritative politics of security, a perspective that presents itself as good geopolitical sense.

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From the pessimistic Realist view on the modern world, the “tame zones” of human existence can descend into anarchy, disorder and violence with alarming speed; insecurity is always around the corner.3 If you doubt this, the Realist may suggest, switch on CNN or a history channel: not only will you see human beings and states at their most barbaric, you will see how easily successful states can turn with indifference from the suffering in failed states. Networks of global governance are nothing more than “riot control.” Agents of planetary surveillance and protection clear up the “waste” in information age states of nature: when things fall apart it is idealistic to rely on the ability of distant others and distant organizations to help. Aid and assistance will come too late or not at all—and the chances are it will not be enough to prevent those around you from suffering. From the perspective of the Realist, even a supposedly networked, cosmopolitan global society will hold the possibility that human beings will kill others. The concentration camp is always a possibility; Hiroshima is always a possibility; the events of 9/11 are always a possibility. Cautious behavior in this condition of global insecurity and uncertainty is essential if one wants to manage a successful state, a state that can negotiate its way through the condition of global insecurity and uncertainty. In this sense, the Realist of International Relations searches for the techniques of power that aim to secure territories in the most effective manner, seeking to make territorial borders a source of protection. Realists of International Relations present themselves as the “rational” agents in a world where the truth of geopolitics can be distorted by the short-term interest of politicians—and their think tanks, their spectacular electoral campaigns—or the misguided and ill-informed visions of radicals/utopians. The tame zones of affluence and security that emerge in modernity are fertile breeding grounds for a global “human rights culture” and calls for moral responsibility for the poor, animals, the biosphere, future generations. Indeed, the Realist would most likely suggest that it would be a pity if such attitudes did not emerge inside the tame zones that they seek to protect—it is simply the case that the state cannot risk placing such an “ethical” individual with the responsibility of securing the state, of keeping the tame zones tame. It is the duty of the Realist to do what others may find offensive or may simply wish to ignore: the Realist must survey the geopolitical scene to work out what dangers the state should secure itself from, who or what is the clear and present danger to the tame zone. The conclusions that are reached may well be disturbing and pessimistic. This is the burden the Realist has to bare. Like Friedrich Nietzsche, writing toward the end of the nineteenth century, the Realist is aware of the limitations of a “commercial society” where the search for “common security” is often shaped by misguided ethical sensibilities: “timidity hiding behind an intellectual mask.”4 Realism and the anarchic spaces of geopolitics are no place for the timid. It is preferable for the “timid” to spend their time enjoying the cosmopolitan pleasures of the tame zone, leaving the “real work” to those who can live with the burden of Realist responsibility. Understood this way, being a Realist is not a popularity contest—that is the job of “immature” radicals (of all ages) in their corduroy suits and duffel coats, waxing lyrical to undergraduates from the safety of the campus about injustice, Sports Utility Vehicles, exploitation and revolution. In an environment where young people often search for hope of a just cosmopolitan future, the Realist in International Relations can only offer reasons for pessimism and the perpetuation of a world of sovereign states

Introduction

3

focused on their narrow and parochial interests/identities: unwilling to confront the harsh truths of international existence, and attracted to the causes of “One World” politics, the younger generation can retreat into the fashionable “escapism” offered by Paul Virilio, Zygmunt Bauman or Giorgio Agamben (or whichever “difficult” Continental philosopher happens to be in vogue in radical circles). On this view, being able to enjoy fashionable escapism is one of the benefits of life in the tame zone: critical perspectives on modernity offer comforting illusions for those who desire the world to be different. Furthermore, although the Realist adheres to the view that it is only through the military-scientific complex that the search for security can be waged, the Realist is aware that at times they will have to speak out against the short-term (or ill-advised) interests of Presidents and policy makers. These factors all contribute to the “tragedy” of being a Realist. However, we should be careful not to overstate the tragedy of Realism, nor should we accept too easily the claim that the Realist is in time with the “reality” of insecurity in a way that non-Realists are not. For all my emphasis on the loneliness of the long-distance Realist in a world of fickle publics, short-sighted political leaders and naive students, Realism continues to occupy pride of place in the traditions of International Relations theory. And as this book argues, Realism in the discipline of International Relations is a node in a larger network of power and influence, a network that seeks to give authority and legitimacy to the “certainties” of Realist security.

Facing the extreme So the Realists will declare that they are the ones with the monopoly on good geopolitical sense. In a condition of global insecurity and uncertainty, it is rational and sensible, Realists argue, to listen to their plans for order, protection and security. They face the extreme so that we do not have to. Indeed, the contemporary Realist may remind us that influential “founding fathers” of Realism—such as Hans Morgenthau—are no strangers to the brutality of totalitarianism and insecurity. They have faced the extreme and are reporting from the wild zone: they are writing in exile from their homelands and/or the utopian visions of a world moving to more enlightened and cosmopolitan horizons. Beneath the abstract language and concepts of interest, strategy and peer competitors are the faces of human suffering: fear of the concentration camp and the nuclear wasteland haunts the Realist politics of security. But the Realists are not the only ones to face the extreme. Other intellectuals face the extreme, writing from a position of anxiety and uncertainty over the “fully enlightened earth” that “radiates disaster triumphant.” Theodor Adorno, Hanah Arendt, Zygmunt Bauman, Walter Benjamin, Gilles Deleuze, Michel Foucault, Erich Fromm, Antonio Gramsci, Jürgen Habermas, Emmanuel Lévinas, Hebert Marcuse, Tvestan Todorov, Paul Virilio: these are just a few of the intellectuals who have faced the extreme in their writings on modernity and insecurity. Although there are considerable differences among this group, they all raise a sense of anxiety about the modern world and its promise to deliver us from fear and the terror of uncertainty. Simply put, the Realists faced the extreme and moved to the spaces of intellectual, strategic and political power, spaces of authority and legitimacy from where they felt they

Security and climate change

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could prevent future suffering. This other tradition wrote from the margins (although mainly from the safety of the university campus), unwilling to sign up to the project of managing Cold War power politics: some—such as Walter Benjamin and Antonio Gramsci—did not make it back from the state of emergency. However, it may be the case that in these underworlds, underworlds to the legitimate, authoritative worlds of Realism, we may find the tools to fight against the insecurity and uncertainty of global existence. The point I am going to make in this book is that we need to turn to alternative lines of thought on the modern world and insecurity—lines of thought that take the insecurity/uncertainty of existence seriously—if we are going to be able to negotiate the dangers and risks of global politics. The book unfolds through a discussion of the threat of human-generated climate change; a “non-traditional” threat that networks of Realism argue is not a “First-Order” problem for a serious politics of security. The Realist position rests on a number of assumptions that need to be uncovered and thought about from a critical perspective: this journey takes us into the underworld of an important Realist book, taking us into a discussion of a footnote. It is the contention of this book that this Realist politics of security is built on assumptions that are not as “secure” as the Realist may believe. In this sense, this book is a “footnote” to broader critiques of Realism that have emerged over past decades, focusing on a set of concerns that still exist on the margins of Realist/nonRealist literatures: the book will have succeeded if it prompts readers to think critically about the supposedly “common-sense” foundations to arguments that circulate in “authoritative” discussions on the future of security—inside and outside—the discipline of International Relations. It is not my intention to contribute to the debate over what approach to International Relations should constitute the “next stage” in the development of the discipline. Rather, what I want to do is introduce a set of concerns that may need to be addressed in the dialogue over a non-Realist politics of security (or a dialogue over a new understanding of what it means to be a realist in International Relations…). Of course, an (imaginary) Realist will reply that the world is too dangerous to retreat from the task of managing “traditional” power politics, a politics of security focused on traditional “military” threats: the Realist worked on power and insecurity so that Virilio, Bauman or Adorno could write from the margins, from the “safe” spaces of a critical theory of modern existence. From the Realist perspective, we need to continue developing a politics of security based on the “traditional” concerns of Realism: what this traditional view argues for will become clearer as the argument unfolds. It is easy to comment from the sidelines, the Realist may add: you do not risk anything; your mistakes do not hurt. The sympathetic Realist may argue that the most influential of the intellectuals from the critical spaces never got over the trauma of exile, war, totalitarianism, expulsion, regimes of propaganda, bombing raids, lost friends. Their writings are therapy; they are writing themselves sane after facing the extreme, living through states of emergency and fear, confronting the terror of uncertainty. Having experienced life as a refugee, Hans Morgenthau may well have understood why students in the United States during the 1960s appreciated the writings of Herbert Marcuse, a fellow refugee from the Nazi regime, on one-dimensional man. Morgenthau may not have agreed with the strategies for revolution in Marcuse’s critique of existence in consumer society, a society that he argued limited freedom and contained totalitarian potentialities. However, he may have recognized the intensity of the critique and the

Introduction

5

sense of emergency in his writings.5 Morgenthau, one of the most influential advocates of Realist power politics, came to share the stage with Marcuse as a vocal opponent of US foreign policy in Vietnam: his stance on Vietnam—that it was not in the interests of the United States to get involved—resulted in Morgenthau losing favor with the power elites, consigned to the intellectual underworld for not legitimating war. Similarly, the “sensitive” Realist might understand why in the twenty-first century a younger generation turns to Virilio or Bauman, with their warnings about technology, globalization and virtual war. Like Morgenthau in the 1960s, some Realists would have felt more in common with such “underworld” writers as Virilio and Bauman than they did with the government of George Bush Jnr as “freedom” and “security” was protected in Iraq during 2003. Facing the extreme, there are moments when Realism and the traditions of critical thought converge. However, the (imaginary) Realist may argue that, while it is all well and good developing a critique of modern society, our securitizing energies will ultimately have to be focused on making borders sources of protection. On this view, the world is too dangerous to simply critique and not protect and secure (and the Realists have the monopoly on good geopolitical sense). The Realist might argue—if they took the time to engage with a non-Realist perspective on insecurity—that when we get beyond the difficult language and concepts found in the writings of intellectuals such as Virilio and Bauman what we can sense is a nostalgia for a time before the acceleration of “globalization” and the instrumental rationalities of modernity.6 Today, the Realist will respond, this mode of nostalgia and utopianism in an age of speed is a development from which we should protect ourselves if we are to think seriously about the politics of security. Every generation has their utopians and idealists and the role of the Realist is to point out the inadequacy of this mode of thought for protecting the spaces of community and order: the world is too dangerous for utopian speculations that ignore the reality of the modern world. But what if the contemporary Realists are the utopians, unable to respond to new dangers and opportunities in global existence? So the desire for protection in Realism comes from trying to face the extreme. What this book will argue is that contemporary Realism is dangerous, and the book interrogates the strategies that Realists deploy to limit how we think about this condition of (in)security. If we are to continue the search for security, a central aim of modernity, this intellectual network will need to be challenged. Contemporary Realism is dangerous, a form, to use a phrase from C.Wright Mills, of organized irresponsibility, a network of power that seeks to cultivate comforting illusions on (in)security. Writing in the 1950s, Mills argued that it is the “mindlessness of the powerful that is the true higher immorality of our time; for, with it, there is associated the organized irresponsibility that is today the most important characteristic of the American system of corporate power.”7 The dominant intellectual community is “full of the conservative mood” and “comfortably timid.” Contemporary Realism, it will be argued here, rests on foundations that limit the possibilities for thinking about danger and insecurity in the contemporary world. It is through questioning the intellectual authority of Realism that we will be able to question broader networks of power that are developing a politics of (in)security. The claim I am making is that Realism is not an arcane theory of International Relations: it is an important node in the power/knowledge complex of security politics, a complex I will

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refer to in the following chapters as “the network of Realism.” If the discipline of International Relations is to contribute to the process of critique, then it will have to distance itself from these networks: the stakes are too high to risk being complicit with these broader networks of power, networks that transcend the discipline of International Relations. In response to a question posed by Keith Tester on a kind of “elective affinity” between European culture and critical theory, Zygmunt Bauman comments: What follows is that I do not consider “critical theory” to be a badge of school membership (unless you take “critical theory” to be an event in history and associate that concept with a fully defined group of people like the founders and members of the Frankfurt Institute, and others who trace their pedigree to that institution) …What unites them is a similar treatment of the sociological vocation; a concern with keeping the forever inexhausted and unfulfilled human potential open, fighting back all attempts to foreclose and pre-empt the further unraveling of human possibilities, prodding human society to go on questioning itself and preventing that questioning from ever stalling or being declared finished.8 In Liquid Modernity Bauman provides a slightly more forceful interpretation of his project: Doing sociology and writing sociology is aimed at disclosing the possibility of living together differently, with less misery or no misery: the possibility daily withheld, overlooked or unbelieved. Not-seeing, notseeking and thereby suppressing this possibility is itself part of human misery and a major factor in its perpetration.9 These observations are made in the context of the discipline of Sociology. Yet these points can be extended to the discipline of International Relations. As we shall see, the networks of Realism limit how we can think differently about the politics of (in)security. If we want the discipline of International Relations to be more than a node in a broader network of power then we have to fight back attempts to limit the unraveling of human possibilities/ (in)security politics. The focus on the book may appear to be limited, building out of a discussion of a book by a Realist intellectual. But the aim is to explore the strategies that limit the possibilities for thinking differently on the insecurity and uncertainty of existence, focusing on the links between intellectuals in International Relations and networks of power that have an interest in protecting a limited vision of security. The networks of Realism present us with a choice on how to develop our societies. Their way is the route to order, stability, freedom, progress, security, power/sovereignty, rationality, realism. The alternative route will lead to anarchy, disorder, insecurity, vulnerability, irrationality, the implosion of sovereignty and technological advancement, utopianism. This book will explore how this choice is presented to us as being beyond contestation, as if this is the only choice that is open to us, the choice between insecurity

Introduction

7

and security, uncertainty and certainty, non-traditional and traditional threats. Yet beyond these hierarchies are alternative ways of living, protecting, securing. Although these networks of organized irresponsibility seem flexible and powerful enough to continue to shape the future of global existence, there are opportunities to think differently about the politics of security that is defined and secured by the Realist networks. The network may be able to rely on the force of tradition—but it doesn’t necessarily have the force of the better argument. What we shall see is that there are foundations to the contemporary Realist politics of security—foundations that are often left in the “footnotes” of arguments developed in International Relations—that we need to uncover if we are to be able to think critically about the ways through which contemporary Realism limits the search for security.

The use of fear Realists cannot promise the creation of a safe, cosmopolitan planet where we can all develop our human potential—what they do offer is a politics of security designed to make existence less insecure, less full of fear. The Realist will create secure spaces where fear is contained and dangerous strangers/ states are kept at bay: these secure spaces will enable us to pursue happiness and the “good life.” However, what I want to propose here is the idea that networks of Realism use fear, the terror of uncertainty, to limit how we can think about security, responsibility and freedom. Writing in 1964 about the fear of unemployment in capitalist modernity, Theodor Adorno wrote that: It is the fear of unemployment, lurking in all citizens of countries of high capitalism. This is a fear which is administratively fought off, and therefore nailed to the platonic firmament of the stars, a fear that remains even in the glorious times of full employment. Everyone knows that he could become expendable as technology develops, as long as production is only carried on for production’s sake; so everyone senses that his job is a disguised unemployment. It is a support that has arbitrarily and revocably pinched off something from the total societal product, for the purpose of maintaining the status quo. He who has not been given a life ticket could in principle be sent away tomorrow.10 From this perspective, fear is used as a biopolitical technology of control and discipline: fear of poverty—of being motionless in a society of speed and mobility—keeps people efficient, agile and motivated. In this sense, the advertising industry taps into the desire to liberate the individual from fear and insecurity: a dominant narrative in advertisements for beauty products, fashions, cars, information technology, financial services, is the ability to be able to keep your “edge”—and be protected—in insecure and unpredictable environments, environments where only the mobile, beautiful, healthy and efficient survive and prosper. Selecting the correct weapons of choice will enable you to secure your place in the tame zones for the longest period possible; those who do not keep up

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with the transformation in the society of “flexibility” risk ending up in the zones of insecurity. Writing from a perspective similar to that of Adorno, Erich Fromm comments that the “necessity for work, for punctuality and orderliness had to be transformed into an inner drive for these aims.”11 Fear produces the type of disciplined and efficient individual that capitalist modernity requires: on this view, fear of an insecure future pushes individuals to work harder (and more ambitiously) than they would if they were left to their own devices. For those that would celebrate the market ideology, this is one of the great achievements of the modern world: society and the individual are pushed to become better, more efficient and dynamic. For critical theorists like Adorno and Fromm, there is a danger that fear will drive individuals to cultivate lives and pursue dreams that may not satisfy other more “fundamental” needs and desires. This perspective on fear can be developed in the context of foreign policy and the politics of (in)security. The necessity for a military-scientific complex had to be transformed into an inner drive, a drive that legitimates policies and developments that will involve huge costs, the use of vital resources and expertise for military ends, the loss of human life for the protection of populations. As Paul Virilio argues, there is a “campaign of civil fear” to prepare populations “psychologically, pedagogically and morally in the belief in these measures.”12 The “precautionary principle” that is central to the campaign of civil fear is expressed through networks that attempt to provide citizens with the inner drive, with the belief that not only are certain politics prudent and rational, they are acts of moral responsibility. These networks promise to deliver populations from fear and insecurity. But what if the politics of security they develop works to limit our ability to think differently on how to live and protect? What if the politics of fear and (in)security is used to foreclose the further unraveling of human possibilities? What if the contemporary Realist accepts too easily the views of those who have something to gain from this culture of fear and uncertainty? To use an example from outside the spaces of International Relations that helps illustrate this point: Underworld by Don Delillo is a novel that attempts to get beneath the “legitimate” accounts of Cold War American culture, developing a meditation on the waste of the war machine and consumer society. Delillo is suggesting that apathy about the waste and pollution of disposable consumer society is intimately connected to moral indifference on the human waste that makes such a society possible. In a scene that switches from baseball to Cold War politics, two men turn to the subject of fear: “You need the leaders of both sides to keep the cold war going. It’s the one constant thing. It’s honest, it’s dependable. Because when the tension and rivalry come to an end, that’s when your worst nightmares begin. All the power and intimidation of the state will seep out of your personal bloodstream. You will no longer be the main—what do I want to say?” “I’m not sure.” “Point of reference. Because other forces will come rushing in, demanding and challenging. The cold war is your friend. You need it to stay on top.” “On top of what?”

Introduction

9

“You don’t know on top of what? You don’t know the whole thing is geared to your dominance of the world? You see what they have in England. Forty thousand women circling an airbase to protest the bombs and missiles. Some of them are men in dresses. They have Buddhists beating drums.” Brian didn’t know how to respond to these remarks.13 Fear serves to limit how we think about security, on how to live: fear is used to contain the other forces—alternative visions of security and economy—that come rushing in when there appears to be a moment of fracture where the script of geopolitics can be altered. But this is not the whole story. As I have already begun to argue, the Realist perspective is presented in terms of tragedy; networks of power use fear to limit how we think about the politics of security. However, what we will begin to see is that it is necessary to build hierarchies of security on a number of techno-optimistic assumptions about the condition of global insecurity and uncertainty. So it is misleading to construct the Realist position in terms of the tragedy of the modern world. On the contrary, there are a number of techno-optimistic assumptions to this perspective, assumptions that limit the possibility of thinking critically about the “fully enlightened earth” that “radiates disaster triumphant.” This point will become clearer as the argument unfolds. The network of Realism works to contain the “other forces” that come rushing in—or that may have always been there—by constructing a hierarchy of legitimate and illegitimate dangers and threats. Deciding what the legitimate security issues for society are—and how to respond to them—is the job of the network: legitimate dangers require a dynamic precautionary principle; illegitimate dangers—where the uncertainty of the danger means that we can afford to take a “wait and see” attitude—can be placed to one side in the politics of security. The meaning of a “traditional” security is fixed, secured: yet these strategies of protection developed by the network are not beyond contestation. Indeed, the networks of security and protection would not need to deploy so many strategies—strategies that will be outlined in this book—to secure (or normalize) the hierarchies of threat and danger upon which we plan for the future if they were secure. What I am going to do in this book is explore how attempts are made by networks of power to secure hierarchies of danger, securing the legitimate politics of security. The form that the network takes will unravel as the book progresses. I will now set out the argument made by John Mearsheimer in The Tragedy of Great Power Politics. Beginning here is not to suggest that Mearsheimer—or, more specifically, the brand of Realism he articulates—is the most significant “node” in the network. But for a book concerned with the limits of the discipline of International Relations it is a useful place to begin “fighting back all attempts to foreclose and preempt the further unraveling of human possibilities.” At the outset, it is important to inform the reader that I am not suggesting that Mearsheimer is developing his politics of security for “instrumental” ends, working to secure the interests of a particular organization or “power elite.” To be sure, there are networks of power that use fear and Realist arguments to protect their interests. The point I am going to make is that in the search for intellectual security, the contemporary Realist risks to legitimate a politics of security that is dangerous for human and non-human

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existence. Put simply, the foundations on which a Realist like Mearsheimer builds his politics of security are far from secure, illusions against the terror of uncertainty; and so it is important that we interrogate the points of insecurity in his argument in order for us to see more clearly the limits of contemporary Realism.

Mearsheimer’s Offensive Realism Is it not the instinct of fear which bids us know? Is the rejoicing of the man of knowledge not precisely the rejoicing of the feeling of security re-attained? (Friedrich Nietzsche, The Gay Science, 1887) We ourselves are proud little animals, stationed on a distant outpost in some remote corner of the cosmos, who have no stomach for the cruelty of the cosmic play. We require a tidier view of the world than is suggested by all that tumult if we are to get ourselves through the day. So we invent categories that we need, words to simplify the forces and a grammar to organize them for us, like the “ego” or “self,” “cause” and “law,” along with distinctions that inspire us and give us guidance, like “truth and falsity,” “being and appearance,” or “good and evil.” These are all signs we have made up and sunk into the surface of the forces, so many fictions of grammar we have devised, like a veil we weave and lay over a visage too hideous to behold. (John Caputo, On Religion, 2001)

John Mearsheimer’s The Tragedy of Great Power Politics, first published in 2001, is viewed as an important defense of the Realist approach to International Relations. Even the cover of the book, with its sombre colors and prominent gold lettering, exudes Realist authority and “seriousness”; it is easy to imagine a copy resting on shelves belonging to politicians such as Dick Cheney or Donald Rumsfeld during the early years of the twenty-first century, among the other symbols that produce identities in terms of authority and power. At the same time, it is difficult to imagine a copy of a book by Virilio or Bauman—with Virilio’s books usually designed like a catalogue for a modern art exhibition and with Bauman’s books usually presented with an evocative image suggestive of the postmodern human condition—resting on their book shelves. Even the design of academic books is concerned with situating the authors within certain networks of culture, knowledge and power, between the legitimate worlds of authority and Realism or the “underworlds” of critical theories on global existence. On the back cover of The Tragedy of Great Power Politics, Samuel P.Huntington writes that:

Introduction

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This book ranks with, and in many respects supersedes, the works of Morgenthau and Waltz in the core canon of the realist literature on international politics. All serious students of international affairs will have to come to grips with its argument. Stephen M.Walt adds that the book will be “essential reading for scholars and students but it will be of interest to anyone who wants to know how international relations really work.” Kenneth Waltz, perhaps the most widely discussed contemporary Realist in International Relations, also offers his recommendation, his note of Realist authorization. These recommendations on the back cover are strategies that work to provide intellectual security, situating the book in the realm of authoritative and legitimate International Relations power/knowledge. In these recommendations we get to the core of how Realists defend their project for maintaining security: Realists are the intellectuals who deal with how international relations really work. As I have already suggested, Realists purport to deal with the uncomfortable reality of the world not with how things ought to be (which is supposedly what the “immature” critical theorists do in their books presented with a fashionable design or images more suited to an existentialist novel); reality, on this view, is too dangerous to indulge in “critical” thinking about alternative world orders or “emancipatory” political economy. Realists work hard to present their works as mature reflections on the natural order of things, the “common-sense” view, an almost “home-spun” and “timeless” geopolitical wisdom, the bitter truth that is uncomfortable to speak. Yet this is a truth that the Realist feels a responsibility to articulate. In the following chapters I am going to interrogate some of these “realistic” assumptions on international relations and the politics of security. In The Tragedy of Great Power Politics Mearsheimer provides a useful deconstruction of the different brands of Realism that have structured the discipline of International Relations. Simply put, human nature realism—as primarily developed by Hans Morgenthau, dominating the study of International Relations from the 1940s to the 1970s—finds the causes of insecurity in the “will to power” that is “hardwired” into human beings at birth, leading to a condition where states seek to dominate other states.14 Although these Realists recognize that international anarchy is important, it is of “second-order” importance in relation to the human drive for power. Defensive Realism, or “structural realism,” dominated by the work of Kenneth Waltz, takes the view that states are not inherently aggressive but that states need to survive in a condition of anarchy. This condition of anarchy makes states act defensively, attempting to maintain a “balance of power.” From the Defensive Realist view, offensive action can be dangerous because potential victims can join together against the offender: Great Powers must be careful not to acquire too much power (p. 20). The Offensive Realism that Mearsheimer is developing in his book is also a structural theory of international politics but it differs from defensive realism in that it states that: status quo powers are rarely found in world politics, because the international system creates powerful incentives for states to look for opportunities to gain power at the expense of rivals, and to take advantage of those situations when the benefits outweigh the costs. A state’s ultimate goal is to be the hegemon in the system (p. 21).

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In The Tragedy of Great Power Politics Mearsheimer is anxious about what he sees as a misguided belief in a “perpetual peace,” a perspective that he argues has circulated with increased visibility since the end of the Cold War. This liberal perspective suggests that in the absence of superpower rivalry—and with the supposed intensification of economic interdependence and global networks—peace will flourish as an “international community” becomes more concerned with “doing business” than playing geopolitical war games. Even Realists, Mearsheimer suggests, have been caught up in this optimistic view: so it is time to renew Realism after the flux and uncertainty caused by the implosion of the Cold War and a period dominated by Clinton’s “optimistic” vision of geopolitics based on the enlargement of the space of the global economy. This optimism about the future of international affairs is misplaced, Mearsheimer argues: “The sad fact is that international politics has always been a ruthless and dangerous business, and it is likely to remain that way” (p. 2). He points out that the United States still maintains around one hundred thousand troops in both Europe and North East Asia. Every state in Europe, he suggests, recognizes that “dangerous rivalries” would emerge if US troops were withdrawn: the United Kingdom and France still “harbors deep-seated, albeit muted, fears that a Germany unchecked by American power might behave aggressively” (p. 2). The possibility of conflict between China and the United States over Taiwan is “hardly remote” (p. 2). For Mearsheimer, this is the tragedy of international politics. First, there is no central authority that can offer “protection” for the sovereign state. This is described as the “9/11” problem: there is no organization a state can turn to for help, no international police force to restore order and security. Second, states always have some offensive military capability. Third, states can never be sure about the intentions of other states: international relations is a state of fear and uncertainty, leaving states with no choice but to “pursue power and to seek to dominate the other states in the system” (p. 3). Alliances are only “temporary marriages of convenience” (another image of home-spun wisdom) and today’s ally might become tomorrow’s enemy. This leads to the real “logic” of international politics: States operating in a self-help world almost always act according to their own self-interest and do not subordinate their interests to the interest of other states, or to the interests of the so-called international community. The reason is simple: it pays to be selfish in a self-help world. This is true in the short term as well as in the long term, because if a state loses in the short run, it might not be around for the long haul (p. 33). This is the foundation of Mearsheimer’s politics of security. The best defense for a Great Power is offense because the security dilemma, with its “vicious circle” of insecurity, makes it so: it pays to be selfish in a self-help world. There is no alternative as “little can be done to ameliorate the security dilemma as long as states operate in anarchy” (p. 36). In this condition of uncertainty, there is no “realistic” alternative to Offensive Realism. Nonetheless, states will inevitably make mistakes because of “imperfect information” (especially where powers misrepresent their own strengths and weaknesses) (p. 38). And fighting wars is a “complicated business” where it is difficult to predict outcomes. Defensive Realists will argue that the constraint of the international system means that

Introduction

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offensive action rarely works and aggressive states are often punished. This is an exaggeration, according to Mearsheimer, and he points to a study of warfare that shows that there were 63 wars between 1815 and 1980: “the initiator won 39 times, which translates into a 60 percent success rate” (p. 39)! Like other Realists, Mearsheimer argues that his brand of Offensive Realism pays little attention to “individuals or domestic political considerations such as ideology. It tends to treat states like black boxes or billiard balls” (p. 11). The condition of uncertainty drives events, not individuals or ideologies. There is a risk to this strategy, he admits, but there is “a price to pay for simplifying reality” (p. 11). Mearsheimer is responding to the geopolitical reality that exists outside of the state: the inside of the billiard ball is of little consequence in this condition of geopolitical uncertainty. What we will begin to see in Chapter 4 is that this move is a useful means of deflecting unwelcome questions about the foundations of Mearsheimer’s vision of insecurity: this is just one of many strategic moves that enables Mearsheimer to present the politics of security that emerges from his analysis as authoritative and legitimate. At another point in the book, Mearsheimer engages with non-Realist approaches to International Relations—the “constructivism” of Alexander Wendt—in an encounter that quickly dismisses an approach that may question the foundations of his Realism (p. 369). And this brief encounter is as far as his engagement with alternative approaches to International Relations goes: constructivism—a diverse and contested intellectual terrain—is the acceptable face of a non-Realist International Relations. “Constructivism” suggests an approach that at least attempts to be useful, active, an approach that at least tries to construct order and security, the opposite of any approach associated with deconstruction (or any other critical theory, for that matter), a term that suggests implosion, disorder, negative critique, something “foreign.” But Mearsheimer is unwilling to give even serious consideration to the “acceptable” critiques of Realism. As we shall see, Mearsheimer is good at evading questions that raise uncomfortable questions about his position. But these strategies contain points of insecurity, points where the acute insecurity of this Realism becomes apparent. But how does this “authoritative” and “legitimate” study of Realism inform our understanding of the politics of insecurity? How does Mearsheimer suggest the United States should protect itself in the twenty-first century? For Mearsheimer the job of the Realist intellectual is not to examine all the sources of insecurity and uncertainty that human beings confront, nor is it concerned with explaining all aspects of global existence: Realism is concerned with developing a compelling theory that helps us shape the Great Power politics of security. So where does this perspective take us?

First-Order and Second-Order problems We have to be careful at the outset to not overstate the “instrumental” nature of contemporary Realism. The language of Offensive Realism articulated by Mearsheimer appears to resonate with the language of “preemptive” strikes and unilateralism articulated by the Bush Administration at the beginning of the twenty-first century. However, it is important to note that the variations of Realism developed by intellectuals such as Waltz or Mearsheimer are not crude attempts to legitimate the actions of the Bush

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Administration: it is tempting to argue that as Mearsheimer’s book was published at the dawn of the Bush Administration it was written to contribute to an “ideological superstructure” that works to legitimate and justify policy initiatives. To be sure, it seems clear that Mearsheimer wrote the book as an “open letter” to the administration. However, it would be misleading to suggest that Mearsheimer is attempting to make a bid for the networks of power in Washington or to legitimate the politics of security developed by “Realist” administrations; Mearsheimer is not what Gabriel Kolko describes as one of the “civilian hawks” (led by Undersecretary Paul Wolfowitz) that was influential in the Pentagon after the events of September 11, 2001.15 This book is not developing a “conspiracy theory” of International Relations—the position Mearsheimer develops is far more interesting and nuanced than a crude caricature of the Realist academic writing to justify “irresponsible” power politics. Mearsheimer is driven by the desire to rejoice in the feeling of intellectual security reattained. The differences between variants of Realism and the Bush Administration were very clear in the analysis that followed the events of 9/11. Kenneth Waltz, for example, offered a note of caution about the Bush Administration’s unilateralism and missile defense project, arguing that the imbalance of power in the international system could escalate geopolitical insecurity, prompting China into more offensive projects with regard to its nuclear arsenal (which could be followed by similar actions from India and Pakistan).16 Mearsheimer used the logic of Offensive Realism to argue that “regime change” in Iraq during 2003 was not necessary: it was possible to use strategies of vigilant containment to monitor Iraq. Mearsheimer’s arguments were cited in the months before the war, used both by anti-war commentators and mainstream media (I heard about Mearsheimer’s argument concerning Iraq on the BBC’s Radio 4 in a show reporting on political debate in the United States). Mearsheimer would most likely argue that the Bush Administration’s brand of preemptive Realism is a perversion of his Offensive Realism. Mearsheimer has published a chapter alongside Paul Wolfowitz and Henry Kissinger in an edited collection concerned with rethinking American security, published in the early 1990s;17 it may possibly be the case that Mearsheimer and Wolfowitz move in similar circles, presenting papers in the same think-tanks and conferences but it seems clear that Mearsheimer would distance himself from the networks—such as the American Enterprise Institute, described by the Financial Times as Bush’s “ideological vanguard”—that circulated around the Bush Administration over the war in Iraq.18 Indeed, Mearsheimer and other influential Realists actively sought to distance themselves from the Administration. In an article entitled “The Right Peace: Conservatives against a war with Iraq,” Christopher Layne, who was at the time a visiting fellow in Foreign Policy Studies at the Cato Institute, a think-tank that will be discussed in more detail in Chapter 3, argued that he— along with Mearsheimer and Barry Posen—are by “temperament calculators, not crusaders.”19 Acknowledging the burden of being a Realist in the tame zone, Layne declares that “self styled ‘Realists’ like Paul Wolfowitz and other neoconservatives give true Realists a bad name—we tend to be cautious using military power.” It is also the case, as it has been intimated already, that Realists work to present themselves as the lone voices of geopolitical maturity and experience, the true Realist: to go against the powers of the day—as Hans Morgenthau did during the Vietnam war—is a

Introduction

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means of proving ones credentials as a genuinely Realist thinker, unafraid of seeming out of time. To be seen as out of time is a sign of one’s seriousness, of one’s ability to escape the vicissitudes of (dangerous) fashions. However, the differences on strategy between Realists such as Waltz and Mearsheimer and other nodes in the networks of Realism does not have much significance for the course that my argument pursues: the modes of reasoning and the issues—military insecurity constructed as serious issues, issues such as climate change constructed as illegitimate—that unite the Realists are more significant than what divides them. What we see in the tension between the ideas of Wolfowitz and Mearsheimer, the American Enterprise Institute and the Cato Institute, is simply a debate about what the next clear and present danger is—and how far the power of the United States should be projected overseas. The networks of Realism may be flexible—and experience mutation—but there are certain foundations and bonds of intellectual solidarity that remain. So Mearsheimer is writing to influence elites of foreign policy. However, he is willing to challenge those networks of power that shape (in)security politics: it is just unfortunate that this critical ethos does not extend itself to more fundamental problems with the Realist politics of security. But getting back to the argument of Mearsheimer’s book: The Tragedy of Great Power Politics is concerned with articulating an Offensive Realist foreign policy in a world where there are no “road maps”—just a condition of global uncertainty and insecurity— and where there has been a move toward a liberal view of international affairs, articulated through the Clinton Administration. However, Mearsheimer makes the claim that this trend in the culture of the United States is not simply a consequence of the end of the Cold War and the emergence of the global information age, the end of history. Foreign policy discourse, Mearsheimer declares, in the United States “often sounds as if it has been lifted right out of Liberalism 101 lecture” (p. 23). In other words, this liberal view is an optimistic perspective on global existence: this opposition between liberal/optimism and Realist/pessimism is an issue I am going to come back to because this neat distinction silences some issues that are pertinent if we are to think critically about this Realist perspective. Like Realists before him, Mearsheimer stresses the case that he is not “happy” about the conclusions he reaches: he is not someone that takes pleasure in the tragedy of international politics. But the “reality” of international relations cannot be ignored. And it is a view that he argues is at “odds with the deep-seated sense of optimism and moralism that pervades much of American society” (p. 23). What we are going to see is that this deep-seated sense of optimism is fundamental to Mearsheimer’s politics of (in)security, limiting the possibilities for responding to the “fully enlightened earth” that “radiates disaster triumphant.” It is worth noting that it is likely that what Mearsheimer and other “true” Realists disliked about the networks circulating around Wolfowitz and the American Enterprise Institute in 2003 is the fusion of “pre-emptive” Realist thinking with the optimistic, enlargement project—where regime change can accelerate the realization of planetary liberal democracy shaped by the United States— associated with liberal approaches to international relations. This hybrid of Realism and Moralism would be seen as irresponsible to the Offensive Realist, another move that silences the optimism that lurks in this Realist perspective. The Realist perspective is concerned with developing a precautionary approach to the politics of security:

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In short, great powers are not mindless aggressors so bent on gaining power that they charge headlong into losing wars or pursue Pyrrhic victories. On the contrary, before great powers take offensive actions, they think carefully about the balance of power and about how other states will react to their moves (p. 37). So it is time to confront the hard truths of global life and Mearsheimer is the man to do it, the intellectual Dirty Harry who can speak out against the weak forces of Liberalism and the Clinton years. In a rhetorical flourish designed to bring across the “common-sense” of his approach, he paraphrases Clint Eastwood (from Magnum Force): “a state has to know its limitations to survive in the international system” (p. 37). Implicit in this argument is the notion that to ignore the condition of uncertainty and insecurity is to risk the concentration camp or the nuclear wasteland, to invite the worst horrors of the twentieth century. States should follow Offensive Realism because it is the “best way to survive in a dangerous world” (p. 11). Mearsheimer does not frame his argument in terms of “moral responsibility” for the citizenry; once a state is conquered, it is “unlikely to be in a position to pursue other aims” (p. 31). Here, Mearsheimer is attempting to distance himself from the type of argument that I began this chapter with, the view that Realism emerges from facing the extreme: Offensive Realism here is a technical exercise in security, the science of protection. To use the language of moral responsibility would be to “soften” the “hard” logic of his argument. Mearsheimer’s task is to construct the most realistic approach to international politics with the hope of being able to shape policy: “the world can be used as a laboratory to decide which theories best explain international politics. In that spirit, I employ offensive realism to peer into the future, mindful of both the benefits and the hazards of trying to predict events” (p. 8). Mearsheimer is the social scientist, the world his laboratory. Mearsheimer defends his Realist perspective against what he sees as the view, prevalent in the policy world, that social science theories are “idle speculations of headin-the-clouds academics that have little relevance to what goes on in the ‘real world’” (p. 8). This view is not a problem for Mearsheimer because behind closed doors “the elites who make national security policy speak mostly in the language of power, not that of principle, and the United States acts in the international system according to the dictates of realist logic” (p. 25). Therefore, it is not really worth considering other approaches to International Relations—the discipline begins and ends with Realism because, broadly speaking, they are in time with how the world really works, in tune with the elites of foreign policy—the experts that shape the dominant politics of security in the United States (and in other potential Great Powers). This issue will be returned to in a later chapter because it raises a number of questions about the limits of the Realist perspective, questions about the ability to think differently about the politics of security. The bulk of The Tragedy of Great Power Politics is concerned with deploying historical case studies to reinforce Mearsheimer’s theory of Offensive Realism. He eloquently defends his position through the use of historical analysis, reinforcing the view that Offensive Realism is “commonsense” because the evidence is there to prove it: states act out of national interest; international relations is a brutal realm, a Hobbesian state of nature. There is no alternative to Offensive Realism and, with a sporting metaphor so popular in Realist discourse, he tells us that “the historical record shows that

Introduction

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offense sometimes succeeds and sometimes does not. The trick for a sophisticated power maximizer is to figure out when to raise and when to fold” (p. 40). For Mearsheimer, the United States needs to prepare for the next “clear and present danger”—or, more specifically, peer competitor—as the liberal view is exaggerated: there is little evidence, he suggests, that global governance and international institutions can “get great powers to act contrary to the dictates of realism” (p. 364); the benefits of economic globalization for security are overstated and states are still the main actors—and, most importantly, they are the only actors that can secure existence in a condition of uncertainty (p. 365). There is no global political entity on the horizon that appears able to ameliorate insecurity and uncertainty and so anarchy will be with us for a long time: consequently, a Great Power needs to pursue its aims with selfishness tempered with precaution. Unilateralism, in short, is the only sensible option in a world where new peer competitors can emerge. So how does the Offensive Realist suggest the United States protect itself in the condition of global insecurity, against the terror of uncertainty? This is the question that drives Mearsheimer’s book. The Realist is not concerned with developing a theory of International Relations that will only be of concern to students in the discipline: it is a theory of International Relations that attempts to shape the politics of security, contributing to the development of better Realist strategies. Toward the conclusion of the book, in a section entitled “Survival in the Global Commons,” Mearsheimer begins to discuss the new generation of threats that the elites in the United States need to focus on. This brief discussion is far more significant for the substance of Mearsheimer’s argument than the space allocated suggests. It is a discussion that enables Mearsheimer to secure his Realist perspective; a perspective that he argues has to focus on the “traditional” problems of insecurity. Now Mearsheimer has already established that “states pay attention to the long term as well as the immediate consequences of their actions” (p. 31). States, or the elites of foreign policy, are concerned with maintaining security in a condition of insecurity and uncertainty in order for the state to be able to pursue other aims. Sensitive to the claims that the traditional assumptions of Realism are being challenged by a new generation of threats, he briefly introduces into his investigation a discussion of non-traditional threats such as AIDS, environmental degradation, unbounded population growth and global warming. These are the problems, he declares, that are usually defined as requiring collective solutions (the type of issue, in other words, “Clintonian” liberals and radicals tend to focus on). There are two problems with this new generation of threats: Although these dangers are a cause for concern, there is little evidence that any of them is serious enough to threaten the survival of a great power. The gravity of these threats may change over time, but for now they are at most second-order problems. Furthermore, if any of these threats becomes deadly serious, it is not clear that states would act collectively. For example, there may be cases where the relevant states cooperate to deal with a particular environmental problem, but an impressive literature discusses how such problems might also lead to inter-state war (p. 372).

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So, on the one hand, threats such as climate change could lead to a world where Offensive Realism would be essential for survival. On the other hand, these threats are too uncertain to warrant inclusion into the traditional concerns of the politics of security—they are (at most) Second-Order problems; and there are no viable solutions to them because they are issues that involve forms of global governance. Collective solutions that transcend the concerns of the national interest are difficult in a world where states act on Realist assumptions about the insecurity and uncertainty of existence. What we will see is that for Mearsheimer to be able to “comfortably” make this claim, the claim that these non-traditional threats are not “serious enough to threaten the survival of a great power,” he has to deploy an argument that is not as “secure” as it may appear: this line of interrogation will involve us looking at the footnotes that Mearsheimer provides us with, footnotes that raise a number of questions about this perspective on insecurity and uncertainty being a “tragic” view of global existence. But I want to defer until later discussion of the foundations of this position. Anyway, from his Offensive Realist perspective, a threat such as human-generated climate change (or global warming) is—“at most”—a Second-Order risk: it involves issues of global governance, unrealistic projects in a world where states should (and do) only act in their self-interest. We do not need to worry about this new generation of threat: “claims that the end of the Cold War ushered in sweeping changes in the structure of the international system are ultimately unpersuasive” (p. 372). Threats such as climate change are of Second-Order importance in a world where the sources of fear remains the same. Realism is concerned with the search for strategies of protection: so where does the politics of security in Mearsheimer’s Offensive Realism take us? What are the strategies of protection that need to be cultivated? What are the First-Order sources of insecurity and uncertainty for the United States? The emergence of China as a peer competitor is a First-Order threat because: A wealthy China would not be a status quo power but an aggressive state determined to achieve regional hegemony. This is not because a rich China would have wicked motives, but because the best way for any state to maximize its prospects for survival is to be the hegemon in its region of the world (p. 402). He goes on to argue that: China is still far away from the point where it has enough latent power to make a run at regional hegemony. So it is not too late for the United States to reverse course and do what it can to slow the rise of China (p. 402). On what grounds does Mearsheimer make this bold declaration? He argues that China, with its huge population base and potential for economic growth, will most likely surpass Japan and become a regional hegemon. More worryingly for Mearsheimer, it has the potential to become wealthier than his own state—and so the United States has to make sure that China does not become a “peer competitor.”

Introduction

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Of course, it is credible to argue that China will become a “peer competitor” and that this may lead to a new age of global insecurity and uncertainty. Given this risk, the “rational” geopolitical move for the Offensive Realist to make is to act on the basis of the “worst-case” scenario, the precautionary principle: in a condition of global insecurity and uncertainty it is vital to imagine—and prepare for—the most dangerous scenario. However, it can be argued that the inclusion of China into the architecture of the global economy (through bodies such as the World Trade Organization (WTO), and investment by global corporations in China) will lessen the chances of conflict. Gabriel Kolko declares that China’s rulers “want to do business, and their highest priorities, by far, are economic; their adhesion to the World Trade Organization is the surest indication that they want to be integrated into a capitalist world economy.”20 From this perspective, it could be argued that a China included into the space of “globalization” will present less danger than non-state actors, such as deterritorialized and flexible terrorist networks. Although the Realist could point out that such a line of argument is exactly what an intellectual such as Mearsheimer is trying to protect us from as the sense of fear that people feel after 9/11—with its violent immediacy and visceral power—may lead politicians to focus on sources of insecurity that are really not that dangerous for the long term security of the state. A terrorist network could not have access to the type of weapons of mass destruction that China has access to: states—by definition of their military capability—are still the main agents of destruction on the geopolitical scene. Of course the Realist may argue that China plays by the rules of the capitalist system because they are means to an end—but what happens when it becomes a peer competitor? From the Offensive Realist perspective, this is the underworld to the “optimistic” vision of liberal theorists who argue that enlargement of the spaces of economy and democracy will lead to order and progress in international affairs. Fear of China is not unique to Mearsheimer’s work on Offensive Realism and it is a discourse of danger that circulates in many areas where the future of security and the global economy are debated. This fear of China in the contemporary political imaginary of Europe and the United States appears to stem from an awareness by the “developed” of the power of capitalism and technology to unleash huge changes in society (creating a condition of “everlasting uncertainty,” as Marx and Engels put it). It stems from the view that in Europe and the United States there are moral limits imposed on the market civilization of liberal democracy (although these moral limits may become flexible outside of the “core”). As Max Weber put it, the “inner attitude of the adventurer that laughs at all ethical limitation is universal”;21 the fear of China emerges from the sense that a capitalist China competing in a global economy will unleash the power of the market without any sense of ethical limitation. In this sense, commentators from both Left and Right fear a territory where 1.3 billion individuals are willing to work for low pay as in a zone where “everything is permitted.” The Economist comments that China has an “inexhaustible supply of workers, willing to work long hours for pitifully low pay.”22 In November 2002 Wired, a magazine that celebrates—some would say, fetishizes—the vision of an information age driven by free markets and a borderless economy, published an article on “The Hot zone”: “An untamed technology boom is sweeping through China’s Pearl River Delta, where cheap labor, mass production, police thugs, and get-rich-quick dreams rule. It’s a terrible, horrible, lawless frontier. And it works.” The fear of China is combined with a perverse fascination—and maybe even

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admiration—for the “unrefined” market, free from liberal concerns. And maybe this is what scares Mearsheimer: a population that does not hold the “deep-seated” optimism and liberalism of the United States. This fear of “unrefined” capitalism is what lies at the core of these views of China, a fear that “unthinking hordes,” used only to totalitarian governance, will threaten the decadent tame zones of liberal democracy. A similar fear drove the imaginary of the Cold War, articulated through Hollywood fantasies of immoral scientists and unthinking robot armies or zombies attacking the free communities of 1950s America. It could also be argued that the most significant question is the ecological ramifications for the politics of security, economic growth based on the definitions of “development” and technological advancement constructed by the United States and Europe. Indeed, there are an increasing number of articles that express fears/desires about the attitude of China on questions of technology, ecopolitics and ethics. For example, Wired included an article heralding “China: The New Cloning Superpower.” The article examines how an ethical sensibility that is fundamentally different to that found in Europe and the United States has resulted in China becoming a Superpower in cloning. Unlike Europe and the United States, states that are anxious about the moral implications of cloning/stem-cell research and who debate the need for a precautionary principle, China is accelerating its research; in a state anxious about overpopulation, there is little anxiety over the creation of “clones”: “We have a huge population and a one-child policy. Why would you think about making people in a laboratory?”23 The article suggests that their technological culture is an outcome of traditional culture (just as our focus on human rights emerges from our culture of liberal democracy): “Abortion, which destroys embryos, has never been seen as wrong in Chinese society. Not having a male heir—that is an issue.” Wired is seduced by the idea of China as a territory beyond the restrictive regulations of Europe and America, where limits are being placed on the venture capitalist and scientists’ explorations of the new biotech frontier, a frontier that could create vast profits and health benefits. “In the Americas and Europe,” Wired informs us, “stem-cell research is the subject of such visceral dismay—and so many government restrictions—that it has been nearly impossible for scientists to make progress.”24 So, although it is supported in the terms of Offensive Realism, Mearsheimer’s position is hardly a provocative one: and it will appear to many readers as a reasonable stance given the way he has presented his argument, an argument that has limited discussion of non-traditional threats. This book is not focused on the issue of whether China is emerging as a dangerous peer competitor. Rather, it is concerned with investigating how human-generated climate change (or global warming) is produced as a Second-Order problem in Mearsheimer’s hierarchy of security. The contention of this book is that it is important to raise a note of anxiety about the legitimacy of Mearsheimer’s claim on the future of insecurity. Now if Mearsheimer’s hierarchy were secure then there would be no need to discuss alternative visions of security. There would be no human possibilities to unravel, no need to question the “legitimate” visions of security politics—and there would be no need for the network of Realism to have to limit how we think about security. The foundations would be secure, the center would hold.

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So is it prudent to attempt to reverse the rise of China? Or would it be more prudent to at least attempt to construct global frameworks for dialogue and global governance over issues such as pollution and cloning? The Realist will reply that dialogue is an idealistic idea: strategies to cultivate mutual understanding will do little to ameliorate the condition of insecurity and uncertainty. Yet, one could argue that trying to “reverse” the “course” of development in China could cause more insecurity in the realm of geopolitics than it reduces. The move toward a market economy will undoubtedly be a source of insecurity and uncertainty, as state-owned enterprises lay off workers (in the millions, according to The Economist). A dynamic economy will—to take the optimistic view—be able to absorb this labor. “Imagine,” The Economist asks, “what might happen were China, a military giant with international grievances, to stagnate economically?”25 Put bluntly, the decision to construe China as a First-Order risk is not without its “uncertainties.” This potential for insecurity is constructed as so dangerous that all other threats fall into the category of Second-Order problems, a new generation of threats that we do not need to take seriously: the use of fear here limits the questioning of the politics of security, limiting the unraveling of human possibilities. Yet it is not simply that the threat of China is constructed of such magnitude that non-traditional threats such as climate change/global warming pale into insignificance as (at most) Second-Order problems. Mearsheimer, along with other networks of power and influence, builds this politics of (in)security on a position that they will argue secures the Realist perspective on insecurity and uncertainty. The substance of this position will be uncovered as the argument of this book unfolds. What we will see is that the line of separation between traditional and non-traditional threats begins to disintegrate, opening up lines of inquiry that help us to think differently about security politics: at the same time, these lines of inquiry disrupt the presentation of the Realist position as a precautionary approach to the condition of global insecurity and uncertainty.

Conclusion What I am going to do in the following chapters is show how Mearsheimer’s line of argument is intimately connected to a broader network of power and influence, a network that has good reason to construct climate change as a Second-Order problem. For all the protestations of the Realist being out of time in a society of optimists, the conclusions that Mearsheimer reaches are to be expected once his thought is situated inside a broader network of free-market think-tanks, industry “front-groups” and conservative commentators. Indeed, as we shall see, this network of Realism gains intellectual legitimacy and authority through the plurality of spaces where Realist ideas are articulated and circulated. Although there was a distance between intellectuals such as Mearsheimer and the Bush Administration over the war in Iraq in 2002, this is not a significant disagreement. Gabriel Kolko comments that before the events of 9/11, Donald Rumsfeld, charged with reorienting the Pentagon, selected China as the “threat of choice,” a view held by Andrew Marshall, the head of the Pentagon’s internal think-tank in charge of the Quadrennial Defense Review.26 However, when the Quadrennial Report was published the fear of China was played down; the report was published after 9/11 and those

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working on it were encouraged to “think outside of the box.”27 It is inevitable that those connected to the networks of military and political power would focus on the War on Terror as the First-Order problem. Yet if the Realist network remains influential in the long term there is every reason to believe that China will become the dominant source of fear in the politics of security, silencing attempts to think differently about the politics of security. But there is no certainty on this point: mutation of the politics of security is always a possibility. The network of power investigated in this book attempts to construct hierarchies of security through strategies that produce geopolitical knowledge as authoritative and legitimate. In Chapter 2 I want to suggest that the hierarchy that Mearsheimer constructs is far more uncertain and unstable than his analysis allows. As the character in Delillo’s Underworld remarks, in the absence of a Cold War “other forces will come rushing in, demanding and challenging.” In this sense, the construction of China as the First-Order problem is a use of fear that works to re-attain the certainties of a Cold War militaryscientific complex. Kolko comments that after the demise of the Cold War the American government lacked a credible enemy, one that could unite Congress and the public: “A sense of danger and fear was essential to the American effort to maintain its hegemony over its allies and to justify immense military funding from a Congress unwilling to casually accept deficit financing and higher taxes.”28 Again, all this is not to imply Mearsheimer has an interest in legitimating a particular politics of security for instrumental reasons. On the contrary, from the secure foundation of his Offensive Realism it makes sense to argue China is the First-Order problem: the instinct of fear that drives his analysis can only take seriously the emergence of a new peer competitor. However, for the traditional hierarchy to hold it is necessary for Realists to construct other sources of threat as illegitimate: it is vital that strategies are deployed to construct a non-traditional threat as illegitimate, as a Second-Order problem, a problem that a Great Power does not need to take seriously. The hierarchy must appear to be natural, beyond contestation. Yet these hierarchies that are made to appear so natural and normal are founded on strategies that actively work to sustain and produce the rationality and “maturity” of a legitimate politics of security. The following chapters seek to investigate the strategies that seek to limit how we can think about security, the strategies that seek to suppress alternative ways of engaging with the uncertainty of global existence.

2 The world is a laboratory From now on, all disciplines have to prepare the future task of the philosopher: this task being understood as the solution of the problem of value, the determination of the hierarchy of values. (Friedrich Nietzsche, On the Genealogy of Morals, 1887)

For Mearsheimer an ecological threat such as human-generated climate change would be characterized as (at most) a Second-Order problem: there is very little “evidence” that climate change could threaten a Great Power. With this move Mearsheimer is able to quickly take his discussion away from non-traditional threats to the First-Order concerns of his Realist politics of security. Following this strategy, there is no need for the serious students of International Relations to spend much time discussing these Second-Order problems. The Realist can rejoice in the feeling of intellectual security re-attained. In this chapter I want to raise a note of caution about the hierarchy of security that Mearsheimer constructs, a hierarchy that we could argue continues to shape thinking about the politics of (in)security inside and outside the discipline of International Relations. Simply put, Mearsheimer’s hierarchy of traditional, First-Order threats (such as China) and non-traditional, Second-Order threats (such as global warming/climate change) is not as secure as it may appear and for climate change to be constructed as a Second-Order problem it is necessary to build the foundation of his imagination of danger on a number of claims about technological progress and security. The specific nature of these foundations will be addressed in the next chapter. What I want to do before looking at the backstop of his argument is to provide some observations that begin to unsettle his hierarchy of security. As we will see in Chapter 3, Mearsheimer’s position rests on an argument that he believes will secure his hierarchy of security. But before we go on to discuss this position it is necessary to consider the non-traditional threat of climate change in more detail than we find in his The Tragedy of Great Power Politics. The first point I am going to make concerns the “uncertainty” of climate change as a threat. Now it is fair to suggest that while there is a scientific consensus that our technologically advanced society is creating human-generated climate change/global warming we simply do not know how this will impact on the planet—and we cannot know for certain if it is generated by human civilization. In this sense, the world is a laboratory in which human beings are experimenting on the planet. As Bruno Latour observes: The size and complexity of scientific phenomena under scrutiny has grown to the point that scaling them down to fit in a laboratory is becoming increasingly difficult. Think of global warming: To be sure,

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labs are running complex models on huge computers. But how do you simulate a phenomenon that is happening on us, with us, through the action of each of us as much as those of entire oceans and the high atmosphere? If the working hypothesis for global warming is that it’s a product of anthropic activity, isn’t the only way to test this hypothesis to stop our noxious emissions and see—later and collectively—what has happened?1 Mearsheimer has established that Realists develop a cautious approach to global dangers, acting on the basis of the worst-case scenario, acting preemptively to avoid future insecurity. It appears strange that this social scientist can ignore the observations of a global network of scientists who have been calling for a precautionary response to the threat of climate change. Yet, although it remains in the footnotes of his book, Mearsheimer does have an answer for those who may argue that his position, a position built on the idea of the planet as a global laboratory to test Realist theories, is irresponsible: this strategy, I argue, makes his position a node in a broader network of organized irresponsibility. The second point I am going to make also begins to question the line of separation between traditional and non-traditional threats. What I am going to suggest is that not only does the global energy economy hold the potential for ecological insecurity, it can lead to more traditional forms of Great Power insecurity. So taking a precautionary approach to security could involve rethinking the types of energy regimes that govern our existence to avoid future insecurity. On this point, Mearsheimer, rejoicing in the feeling of security re-attained, is unwilling to ask questions about whether the mode of existence that he seeks to protect is contributing to global danger and insecurity: this point will be returned to later in the book because it points to a fundamental problem in the (Offensive) Realist politics of security.

Securing the hierarchy Non-traditional threats such as climate change “challenge” the foundations of Realism because they are, according to Mearsheimer, different from the “traditional kind of military threats realists worry about.”2 For an intellectual/security “expert” to take an issue such as climate change seriously, to accord it the status of a First-Order problem, results in exclusion from the Realist sectors of the discipline of International Relations. You simply cannot be a Realist if you take non-traditional threats seriously; and to not be a Realist means that one can only be a utopian, a liberal, an idealist or radical. In short, by taking non-traditional threats seriously you become someone who is not in touch with the “reality” of global insecurity and uncertainty. As we shall see, this mode of thinking is not peculiar to International Relations: attempts are made to secure this traditional meaning of security in a number of spaces in contemporary society, to make it look as if focusing on non-traditional threats is utopian or even dangerous, anti-modern. Only an approach to International Relations and the politics of security that focuses its geopolitical optic on traditional military threats (based primarily on Great Powers with

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weapons of mass destruction) can be a serious and legitimate precautionary principle for the Realist society of security. So this line of separation between traditional and non-traditional threats secures the Realist politics of security from non-traditional “fashions” of the day and immature radicals and utopians, separating Realism(s) from its Others, enabling the Realist to rejoice in the feeling of security re-attained. It is worth noting at this point that this strategy of protecting the Realist politics of security from non-traditional concerns is practiced by other Realist thinkers, working to secure the hierarchy of First-Order and Second-Order problems. James Der Derian, for instance, draws our attention to the way that Stephen Walt, another prominent Realist thinker, has sought to police the borders of the discipline from attempts to broaden the concept of a traditional politics of security. For Walt, the inclusion of non-traditional threats into the discipline threatens “to destroy its intellectual coherence and make it more difficult to devise solutions to any of these problems.”3 But what if the sources of insecurity and global danger traverse these lines of separation between traditional and non-traditional? And what if there is—and will be—an intimate connection between these supposed traditional and non-traditional threats? After the events of 9/11, Colin Gray declared that the attacks—and the response of the United States—re-affirmed the tenets of Realist thought: If anything, September 11 and its immediate aftermath have provided compelling evidence to encourage fresh recognition of the authority of the realist canon. The script for statecraft was first written by the Greeks and the Romans, now it is played by Americans, Russians, the Chinese and bands of murderous religious zealots. The CNN factor, and the instant scrutiny it enables, has the consequence that the means and methods for the suppression and punishment of history’s losers generally have altered somewhat since ancient times. Mass crucifixions and impalings are long out of fashion, though we can be confident that there would be satellite channels eager to carry them, should the commercial opportunity beckon. There can be little doubt that today’s Americans are more generous victors than were yesterday’s Athenians or Romans. Nonetheless, when we allow for cultural differences and the military options granted by the leading edge of modern technology, the practice of imperium, indeed of the stability deriving from a hegemonic order, is not that distinctive from ancient to modern times.4 Gray’s observations here may not appear sufficiently “scientific” for a Realist like Mearsheimer but the consequences for the politics of (in)security are the same. The hierarchy of First-Order/traditional and Second-Order/ non-traditional problems secures the foundations of the discipline from alternative ways of thinking about (in)security, alternative strategies that raise a sense of anxiety about the politics of security that governs existence. As suggested in Chapter 1, Realism works to foreclose and pre-empt the unraveling of human possibilities by arguing that military insecurity is the “grand narrative” of the human condition: surveying the history of international relations we can see that existence has been brutal and—regardless of which strand of Realism you adhere to—traditional forms of insecurity will always be with us. It would be immature, the

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story goes, to turn away from Realism when history proves that the “will to power” and the condition of uncertainty make violence and insecurity inevitable. There can be no alternative to Realism and its hierarchy of First-Order and Second-Order problems. To challenge the hierarchy is to be immature, irrational and irresponsible—to ignore the natural order of things and the Realist instinct of fear will result in even greater levels of suffering and danger. So Realists are concerned to protect a traditional politics of security from nontraditional concerns that will limit the ability of the state to defend itself. But does this desire to find intellectual security in the traditional perspective limit our ability to think critically about the condition of global insecurity and uncertainty? This is the line of thought I want to interrogate in the following chapters. To be sure, Realists like Mearsheimer, Walt and Gray will argue that a decision has to be made in the condition of uncertainty and insecurity that we find ourselves in: a decision has to be taken to “divide up“the condition of global uncertainty into First-Order and Second-Order problems in order for the politics of security to be manageable. On this view, it could be argued that if the instruments of the state attempt to do too much they risk doing many things badly, in an ineffective This argument is often deployed to defend the boundaries of the discipline from supposedly “non-Realist” issues (such as ecological threats, AIDS and poverty): if we are to have a reasonable chance of living a secure existence we will have to prioritize the threats that can endanger a Great Power. This will require the creation of a hierarchy. Realist “good-sense” can tell us—on the basis of historical inquiry and evidence—what sources of insecurity we need to prepare for. It is reasonable for the Realist to assert that if a society were to act without the hierarchy of First-Order and Second-Order problems there is the danger that the state would implode under the burden of responsibility and fear: we cannot, the Realist is arguing, do everything. From this perspective, existence is filled with seemingly limitless forms of insecurity and uncertainty: we simply cannot, on this view, respond to all the problems we face. If states were to act on the basis of all possible worst-case scenarios then life would become impossible, with human beings becoming overwhelmed by the limitless condition of uncertainty and insecurity. Human beings would evolve like the mysterious characters in Jorge Luis Borges’ story, The Immortal. Confronted with the limitless possibilities of immortality, the Immortals gave up on existence, constructing an “incoherent city,” living in a condition of “pure speculation”: “In their self absorption, they scarcely perceived the physical world.”5 The Realist could argue that if we were to give equal attention to all the sources of insecurity that human beings confront then life would become so overwhelming, so limitless, that we would simply give up: the weight of insecurity would make us terrified of an existence that is risky, leaving us unable to take a decision. This is a powerful argument. But it rests on the view that the hierarchy of First-Order and Second-Order problems is secure. It rests on the view that we can leave non-traditional threats as Second-Order problems, as problems that are not dangerous enough to be accorded First-Order status. And, as we shall see, the backstop for this position is far from secure. The other side of this condition of insecurity and uncertainty that the Realist interrogates is depicted in Steven Spielberg’s film, Minority Report (2002). Minority Report depicts a United States in 2054 where the obsession with insecurity, crime and the “precautionary principle” has resulted in new surveillance technologies that allow a “precrime” police unit to “visualize” violent crimes before they occur. This early warning

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system holds the potential to make for a more secure and orderly society. One of the questions the film poses is this: at what point does the society obsessed with security and the precautionary principle become an “iron cage,” a surveillance society that limits freedom, allowing the possibility for dangerous accidents? (In Minority Report, a detective is “falsely” accused for a crime he is about to commit.) The Realist could answer that if the obsession with personal security was taken so far that all the technologies of surveillance and “smart” violence used by the war-machine were deployed inside the state then the freedom, mobility and order that the Realist seeks to defend would be lost: on this perspective, the technologies of the war-machine may be used, but only in exceptional cases (as occurred in October 2002, when military surveillance technology was used to hunt the “Washington sniper”). The hierarchy of First-Order and Second-Order problems negotiates the difficulty of protecting the territory of the state from peer-competitors, while at the same time enabling individuals and communities inside of the state to be mobile and free. The limits imposed by the hierarchy work to secure existence in a way that allows human beings to be free, free in a manner defined by Realism and the world that the perspective is attempting to protect: this form of “ordering” may not be perfect but it creates a space for the realization of the tame zones through which individuals can pursue other “legitimate” aims and modes of existence. The Realist is telling us that we have to make a decision on what are First-Order and Second-Order problems for a Great Power. In The Tragedy of Great Power Politics it appears unproblematic to construct non-traditional threats such as climate change as Second-Order problems. Mearsheimer and other Realists are “experts” on the threats that we—or, more specifically, the United States—face. So why should we think critically about the hierarchy of security? Now I want to begin to question the stability of this hierarchy of security, beginning a line of inquiry that explores how this hierarchy is determined, how it is secured.

Uncertainty and climate change The Second-Order problem of climate change is characterized by uncertainty on issues of causality and impacts. As Ulrich Beck comments in a discussion of knowledge in a “risk society,” the “main question is how to take decisions under the conditions of manufactured uncertainty, where not only is the knowledge base incomplete, but more and better knowledge often means more uncertainty.”6 The traditional concerns, in other words, that a discipline that Stanley Hoffman once described as the science of uncertainty purports to respond to.7 In an introduction to contemporary scientific debates, Brian Ridley, a Professor of Physics, notes: There is no doubt that the ice sheets in the Arctic Ocean are thinning, that glaciers are retreating, that the weather seems to be more freakish than usual. Is this because of global industrialization, as is usually assumed, or is it because of some natural solar or terrestrial cycle? I have no idea. In geologically recent times, glaciers have advanced and retreated, average

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temperatures have oscillated up and down by several degrees centigrade, and wasn’t there a mini ice-age only a few hundred years ago? So should we really worry? Doesn’t the biosphere have resources of negative feedback always to reach stability? But the emissions of carbon dioxide and other so-called greenhouse gases that have accompanied man’s technological evolution are new to the planet, so the worry is that this might result in changes in climate that may well be coped with by the biosphere but at the expense of human society as we know it.8 In an essay on time and the social sciences, Barbara Adam comments that, “cause is not succeeded by a consequence in a simple immediate, linear way. The issue of global warming, in other words, is replete with uncertainties and the prospect of an indeterminate and indeterminable future.”9 These observations all point to the problem of securing “evidence” that the threat of climate change is a First-Order problem. In this sense, the planet is a laboratory where only time will tell if human-generated climate change presents a First-Order problem. It is not my intention to provide a detailed account of the scientific debates on humangenerated climate change: the reader is pointed in the footnotes to some of the more readable accounts.10 However, some general points about the issue of uncertainty and climate change are needed here. Contrary to some of the perspectives articulated by the networks of Realism, there is a scientific consensus on the science of climate change. Discussing increases in the surface temperatures of the Earth, Edward O.Wilson, one of the world’s most influential scientists, comments: The most authoritative studies of this trend are those conducted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the more than one thousand experts worldwide who specialize in different aspects of the phenomenon. In 2000 they affirmed that global warming, as suspected earlier, is indeed caused principally by the heat-absorbing greenhouse gases carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide. For the past 400,000 years, the span for which reliable estimates can be made from chemical measurements of trapped glacial air bubbles, carbon dioxide concentrations have fluctuated in lockstep with surface temperature. The concentrations of carbon dioxide are now at the highest level recorded for the 400,000-year span and show no sign of leveling off. The same is true of methane and nitrous oxide. It is further reasonably certain that the thickening of the greenhouse gases is due to industrial activity and the cutting and burning of forests.11 The World Climate Conference in 1979 initiated the first of a series of global conferences for scientists concerned with climate change. In 1988 the Toronto World Conference on the Changing Atmosphere became a landmark for climate politics: in light of the worst drought in the United States since the 1930s and with the six hottest years in recorded history, resources were mobilized to deal with the possibility that humans might be altering the planet’s climate. This was backed by NASA scientist James Hansen’s

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declaration before the Toronto conference to the US Congress that “it is time to stop waffling so much. We should say that the evidence is pretty strong that the greenhouse effect is here.”12 James Hansen suggested that as human beings continued to burn natural gas, coal and oil, the carbon dioxide produced as a byproduct, accumulating in the atmosphere, was beginning to heat the earth. Public pressure following the long hot summer of 1988 in the United States led to further research. In August 2000, a “front group” connected to the network of Realism published an article on its website: The scientist who alerted the world to the consequences of the greenhouse effect admits today that carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels was not the main cause of rapid warming of the Earth in recent decades, the London Daily Telegraph reported today. Dr James Hansen is also more optimistic that global warming can be prevented “without any economically wrenching actions” because of the growing realization that too much emphasis has been placed on the effects of burning fossil fuels.13 A common tactic by the network, a network that will be discussed in more detail in Chapter 3, has been to argue that there is simply too much illegitimate uncertainty, too much bad science articulated through organs of global governance. Research into climate change was institutionalized through the establishment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) by the World Meteorological Association and the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP). The IPCC is the global body given the task of presenting the findings to the international community, to give “state of the union” addresses on scientific developments and policy debates. The IPCC was organized into three working groups to assess whether—and how much—the climate might change due to anthropogenic greenhouse emissions, to estimate what the environmental and socioeconomic impacts of possible climate change may be and to formulate strategies for the mitigation of climate change. A breakthrough in the climate of uncertainty came in 1995, during the second period of assessment, when it was concluded that the “balance of evidence suggests a discernible human influence on global climate.” This belief increased in the Third Assessment Report 2001, which makes even stronger claims, suggesting that the global average temperature would increase by 3 to 11 degrees Fahrenheit in the next century, far bleaker conclusions than the 2 to 6 degrees projected five years earlier.14 To be sure, the impacts are uncertain: climate change could lead to crop reductions in most tropical and sub-tropical regions, while yields may grow in temperate regions. There could be decreased availability of water, coupled with rising sea levels. Against the argument that the poor will be hit hardest, there could be significant slowing of the Gulf Stream that warms the North Atlantic, which could have the affect of chilling Western Europe (certainly a risk to a “great power”).15 The IPCC acknowledges the uncertainties, admitting that there are still questions of natural variability, the effects of human influence and the role of carbon sequestration to consider. Many opponents of the IPCC (such as “front” groups representing the large oil companies) would argue that important uncertainties have been played down in order to present the image of a scientific consensus. But the dilemma still remains: how do we act in a condition of uncertainty? And as Charlie Kronick of the Climate Action Network observed, “In a world dominated

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by information, arguments are rarely won by the aggregation of ‘facts.’ There are simply too many facts in circulation.”16 We confront a condition of uncertainty when we enter the space of climate politics. A common tactic by politicians and organizations hostile to the IPCC and global environmental networks is to place emphasis on the diversity of perspectives, along with information that stresses the uncertainty of cause and effect. As Paul Virilio, one of the most prescient observers of the relationship between technology and politics, argues, we live in a period where many of the most powerful interests that shape global politics operate not by censoring information, restricting access to matters that concern us, but through exploding the information bomb: “Disinformation is achieved by flooding TV viewers with information, with apparently contradictory data.”17 As anyone who has searched for information about climate change on the World Wide Web will know, one is confronted with a huge array of sites, from a variety of knowledge providers, some of which provide educational material developed and circulated by industry front groups (such as the Global Climate Coalition), some of which present the latest findings of the IPCC and other organizations researching the impacts of climate change around the planet. During the summer of 2003, 2 of the 10 sites that emerged after typing in “global warming” on “Google” were arguing that the uncertainty of climate science was being suppressed by environmental/scientific networks. Among sites from the Sierra Club and various scientific organizations were “The Cooler Heads Coalition” and Skepticism.net, both sites that contained “alternative” media sources and articles such as “Typical Al Gore Nonsense on Global Warming.” The explosion of information, an important component in democratic societies, is a powerful tool for those who want to slow down political processes (with corporations such as Exxon-Mobil and the Bush Administration arguing in 2001 for more research on climate change before action is taken). At the same time, in a survey of the various scenarios on climate change, Jeremy Rifkin points to a report published in 2002 by the US National Academy of Sciences (NAS) that presented a worst-case scenario that raised the possibility that temperatures could change in far more drastic ways than have previously been suggested.18 So should we accept a hierarchy of security that places the threat of human-generated climate change into the safe-category of a Second-Order problem? We are cast into a condition of uncertainty where there is no way of knowing what the long-term implications of climate change could be on the biosphere. Yet for Mearsheimer, although “there is reason for concern,” a threat such as climate change is at most a Second-Order problem. Not only is the risk too uncertain, the potential threat of climate change is simply too distant to warrant a dynamic response (the type of response needed to deal with the threat of new peer-competitors). Mearsheimer is willing to admit that at some point in the future an issue such as climate change may become “deadly serious.” But Realist good-sense dictates that climate change is not a legitimate threat to be responded to in the present: the foundation of Realism is the tenet that it is rational and mature to respond to an issue before it is too late, before the threat becomes impossible to manage. However, in the case of climate change, we simply do not need to take precautionary action—it is a threat for which we can take a “wait and see” approach (maybe waiting 50 or 100 years). It could be argued that the term “Second-Order problem” is a tactic that allows Mearsheimer to at least imply that this new generation of threats have a place in his geopolitical optic and that he has at least given them serious

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consideration. But given that Realism argues that it is essential that precautionary behavior be taken on serious issues, even if the threat is distant can we then take from this that an issue such as climate change is not sufficiently serious at all! A state, in other words, only needs to act on the basis of a precautionary principle when a traditional threat is on the cards. One could imagine that someone new to debates over International Relations theory, and foreign policy issues in general, may find this division of threats into First-Order and Second-Order problems “sensible”: an issue such as climate change is constructed inside a discussion that appears to exhibit all the normal concerns of sensible thinking on the politics of security—the study of a condition of insecurity and global insecurity—where states consider “the long term as well as the immediate consequences of their actions.” Yet on what grounds can Mearsheimer and other Realists relegate this uncertain risk to a Second-Order problem (at most) while making China a First-Order problem? Mearsheimer and others will reply that the job of the Realist is to warn societies of the danger of ignoring fundamental truths of international relations and foreign policy, the truth that military insecurity has constituted the First-Order problem and that there is every reason to believe it will do in the foreseeable future. However, Mearsheimer and others in the network do feel the need to give serious consideration to issues such as climate change. The networks of which Realism is just one component give careful consideration of this new generation of risks, risks that, in the words of Ulrich Beck, “differ from ‘war damage’ by their ‘normal birth,’ or, more precisely, their ‘peaceful origin’ in the centers of rationality and prosperity with the blessings of the guarantors of law and order.”19 Mearsheimer may respond that even if climate change were to become a source of geopolitical instability a “Great Power” would be able to “manage” the insecurity that emerged. As he comments in The Tragedy of Great Power Politics, there is “little evidence” that any of these non-traditional threats are “serious enough to threaten the survival of a great power” (p. 373). At this point, someone reading from a cosmopolitan moral perspective could ask: what about those distant Strangers who may suffer as a result of our “Carboniferous capitalism”?20 What about those distant Others, human and non-human, whose communities risk becoming wild zones because of our affluent lifestyles in the tame zones? A Realist such as Mearsheimer would probably reply that his position is not that he wants distant Others and future generations to suffer in the wild zones: it is just that his role is to find ways to secure his political community from insecurity in a condition of uncertainty. That is, after all, the tragedy of international relations. The Realist is concerned with the security of their Great Power: and this does not mean that such a state has to act selfishly all the time. Discussing the “genocidal rampage” in Rwanda in 1994, Mearsheimer notes that although “realism does not prescribe human rights interventions, it does not necessarily proscribe them” (p. 47). The primary issue here is that there is a hierarchy of problems and interests and the state should be reluctant to endanger its security on issues that could (unnecessarily) pose a threat to order and stability. On the issue of climate change, the cost involved in dealing with the issue does not provide a security “benefit” as a Great Power could manage the threat. Even if the United States were to be able to manage the disorder that emerged from destabilizing climate change on the biosphere, either because it did not suffer any

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climatic change or it had sufficient technological fixes to maintain “business as usual,” how would the broader global instability (migrations, humanitarian disasters, all kinds of destructive weather) that could emerge—along with issues that we perhaps cannot even imagine/ visualize—impact on the Great Power? Is it possible to “abstract” a great power from the rest of the planet? Can it live beyond “nature”? The United States may well be able to cope with potential problems posed by destabilizing climate change, although for how long and to what degree of effectiveness is uncertain; Bill McKibben, one of the most vocal environmental thinkers in the United States, suggests that eventually “the whole world will be affected, but in the short term the US is likely to be luckier than almost any region. That our continent is large, relatively isolated, and in a mid-range latitude will slow many damaging effects.”21 This may prove to be the case but as even Mearsheimer, our security expert, admits, there is an “impressive literature” that discusses how such problems may lead to inter-state war (p. 372). But this evidence is not sufficient for Mearsheimer to take the issue seriously. Can a Great Power exist immune from this new geography of danger and insecurity? Ulrich Beck suggests that the poorest in the world will be hit hardest: Those who find themselves deprived of the basis of their economic existence will flee the zone of misery. A veritable exodus of eco-refugees and climatic asylum-seekers will flood across the wealthy North; crises in the Third and Fourth Worlds could escalate into wars. Even the climate of world politics will change at a faster pace than is imaginable today. So far, all these are just projections, but we must take them seriously. When they have become reality, it will already be too late to take them seriously.22 Paul Rogers argues that the potential for socioeconomic divisions provoked by environmental constraints could lead to increasing global insecurity, not only from migratory pressures but from anti-elite insurgencies, some of which could be transnational in nature and effect.23 It is possible to hold on to core Realist assumptions (the “9/11” problem) and make the case that climate change is a legitimate security concern, a point made by the Pentagon in a report published in October 2003 titled “An Abrupt Climate Change Scenario and Its Implications for United States Security”: the report suggested, framed in the terms of threats to the national interest, that “because of the potentially dire consequences, the risk of abrupt climate change, although uncertain and possibly quite small, should be elevated beyond a scientific debate to a US national security concern.”24 Even though the report is couched in Realist terms (“Once again warfare would define human life”), a Realist such as Mearsheimer would have reason to dispute the report, to reduce it to the status of an imagination of disaster worthy of Hollywood blockbuster such as The Day After Tomorrow, released the following summer. The justification for such a position (what Mills would describe as a form of “crank realism”) will become clearer as the argument unfolds. Is the technological supremacy of the United States so great that it can live beyond “nature”? At this moment of time we simply do not know what new geographies of tame zone/wild zone may unfold during the twenty-first century, let alone in a longer glacial time frame.

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It should be noted at this stage that there has been much political wrangling over the term “climate change”; as I will show later in the argument, this issue, as well as constituting a “material” struggle over how we organize our economies, is in many ways a struggle over the politics of representation, a struggle over the coding of threats. The term “global warming” was seen by the United States to be too “alarmist,” too apocalyptic, so they called for the term “climate change” to be used in negotiations. The term “greenhouse effect” was dropped due to the recognition that it is a naturally occurring phenomenon.25 In this book, the term “climate change” is used because climate change could involve developments that are unpredictable and uncertain (i.e., that Europe, for example, may actually become colder, facing severe flooding). What I have tried to do here is unsettle the security of Mearsheimer’s hierarchy of security/uncertainty: I want to unsettle it further in the next section of the chapter, creating a sense of anxiety over resource use, enabling us to pursue a line of critical interrogation on Mearsheimer’s “intellectual” foundation in Chapter 3.

Resource wars In Mearsheimer’s hierarchy of First-Order and Second-Order problems an attempt is made to maintain a secure borderline between military threats and non-traditional threats. The retrospective authority that is asserted works to make this hierarchy appear solid, beyond contestation, a legitimate and rational response to the condition of global insecurity and uncertainty. Yet it is possible to think differently about this hierarchy, to think about it in a way that unsettles the foundations of the hierarchy, opening up different ways of developing a politics of security. If it were not possible to think differently then there would be no need to develop a critique of The Tragedy of Great Power Politics. By the same token, if it were not possible to think differently about the politics of security that Mearsheimer articulates then he could afford to give more space in his analysis for non-traditional threats. By placing these non-traditional threats in the safe category of Second-Order problems it is possible for Mearsheimer to maintain the legitimacy and (retrospective) authority of his Offensive Realism. Mearsheimer’s conclusion is that China will become a peer competitor for the United States because if it becomes the leading producer of cutting-edge technologies, it would use the wealth to create a “mighty military machine” (p. 400). What makes this scenario a source of insecurity is the fear that China could gain a decisive military advantage over the United States in Northeast Asia. In the final pages of The Tragedy of Great Power Politics, Mearsheimer declares that as China could become a formidable superpower it follows that the United States has an interest in making sure that Chinese economic growth slows “considerably in the years ahead”: “A wealthy China would not be a status quo power but an aggressive state determined to achieve regional hegemony” (p. 402). Michael Klare’s investigation in Resource Wars: The New Landscape of Global Conflict (2002) opens up lines of inquiry that begin to make the First-Order and SecondOrder hierarchy appear less stable and less secure. First of all, Klare’s investigation provides detailed analysis of how conflict over resources such as oil and water could lead to insecurity in the twenty-first century. Where Mearsheimer presents us with bold declarations justified by the retrospective authority of his Offensive Realism, Klare is

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attempting to show how the regimes of consumption in the tame zones of global politics are leading not only to resource wars in the wild zones but could lead to increasing insecurity between the Great Powers of geopolitics. Mearsheimer provides the reader with historical examples of Great Power geopolitics to give retrospective authority to Offensive Realism. Klare, on the other hand, is opening up lines of analysis that begin to trace the deterritorialized networks that fuel the consumer society, networks that are often ignored from the Realist optic and networks that may contribute to future global insecurity and uncertainty. The evidence about the contemporary resource networks— legitimate and illegitimate—that Klare presents the reader with is intended to raise a sense of anxiety about the modes of consumption that are enjoyed in the tame zones. His analysis attempts to get beyond the abstract language of orthodox economics and security politics to show not only how our seemingly mundane acts of consumption are embedded inside legitimate/ illegitimate deterritorialized networks (another hierarchy that is often not as stable as it appears) but how it could be possible to develop alternative approaches to resource (ab)use. Klare’s analysis ranges from discussion of energy conflict in the Caspian Sea Basin, water conflict in the Nile basin to internal wars over minerals and timber, mapping how resource scarcity can lead to wars fought over natural commodities. Replacing the Cold War as the dominant organizing principle of geopolitics is a geography of conflict where complex and deterritorialized networks seek to provide the resources for the consumer society. Now much of Klare’s analysis could feed into the fear that drives Mearsheimer’s conclusions about China. Klare points out that the Chinese economy expanded by 93 percent between 1990–6.26 The result of this growth has been increased demand for the goods of the consumer society: automobiles, home appliances and other consumer products—the percentage of households owning a refrigerator leaped from 7 to 73 percent during this period of growth. In a point that must be a source of fear for the Offensive Realist, Klare points to a prediction by the US Department of Energy that energy consumption by China will rise by about 4.3 percent per year between 1997– 2020, a rise four times that predicted for Europe and America.27 This would involve a 158 percent rise in oil consumption, along with an increase in coal consumption of over 158 percent. A similar pattern of growth is expected in other rapidly industrializing countries, such as India, Brazil and Mexico. In a move that an Offensive Realist would find useful in their critique of the optimistic liberal globalizers, Klare points out that the argument that rising resource demand in the developing world will be offset by a declining demand in the “informational” tame zones is flawed. Put simply, it is often argued that computers and other information technologies will take over tasks performed by less efficient, resource-consuming systems. Klare argues that overall the rise of the information economy has been accompanied by an increase in consumption and resource use: this is attributed to an increase in personal wealth and, in turn, personal consumption. For example, he draws our attention to the fact that automobile owners are driving greater distances every year in larger and less fuel efficient cars (from 1.5 trillion miles in 1982 to 2.5 trillion in 1995).28 (Simon Dalby notes that the marketing of the Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV), the vehicle of choice in the information age, often taps into the notion that the car provides not only a space of freedom but a space of security: the Chevy Blazer SUV was sold with the slogan “a little security in an insecure world”).29 Klare concludes that it is safe to suggest that the

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global demand for basic resources will continue to grow in the decades ahead, driven by a mixture of economic demand and population increase. The vision of insecurity that Klare outlines involves Great Powers’ securing oil resources in territories such as the Caspian Sea, while resource conflicts may intensify in territories where the sources of supply are contested, in contested border areas or offshore economic zones. Many of these contested spaces are already in territories that many would describe as the wild zones of geopolitics. According to Klare, global markets can increase the likelihood of conflict, especially in situations where a contested resource is constructed as so valuable in monetary terms that none of the claimants is willing to lose control: such a dynamic is viewed to be driving conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo where a number of internal factions and foreign powers have been fighting for control over gold and copper fields.30 Klare’s book is rich in detail on how resource conflict could lead to a geography of insecurity in the twenty-first century; a geography of insecurity that results from consumer desires circulating in the tame zones. It would be interesting to know what the Realists of International Relations would make of an analysis that, although richly supported by “evidence,” leads to the conclusion that the tame zones may need to rethink regimes of consumption inside the state: one of the uses of the hierarchy of First-Order and Second-Order problems is to place a line of separation between risks that we can seek to manage with the technology of the military-scientific complex (more efficient network war, Star Wars defense) from risks that may involve transforming existence inside the space of secure and affluent tame zones: the implications of this issue for Realist security politics will be discussed later in the book. Nevertheless, it is safe to conclude that the Realist may welcome research that shows in great detail that the liberal vision of informational economies transforming international relations is highly problematic. The Offensive Realist will feel a sense of intellectual security in their perspective when they find that China’s onshore fields will not be able “to yield significantly increased supplies of petroleum, and that reluctant to become heavily dependent on foreign sources of energy, Beijing has begun to emphasize the development of offshore sources.”31 This project involves exploring promising fields in deeper waters, such as areas off shore of Vietnam, where it has also expanded its military presence. In short, tension could emerge in the South China Sea over access to oil supplies; Klare points out that there is also potential for conflict between China and Japan on the East China Sea.32 It appears inevitable that the rise of a Great Power will involve offensive actions that will result in the formation of a formidable peer competitor: while the analysis may not have had the depth and detail of Klare’s investigation, the retrospective authority of the Offensive Realist perspective appears to have isolated the First-Order problem of the twenty-first century. It is useful to note here that Klare, like Mearsheimer, contributed in 2002 and 2003 to the discussion over the significance of a regime change in Iraq through articles such as “It’s the Oil, Stupid!” and “Resist War and Empire” (both published in The Nation) and “Options Exist Short of War” in USA Today.33 Klare shared Mearsheimer’s view that the war was an unnecessary risk and that Iraq needed to be contained through surveillance. Klare sees the war as an outcome of “the Cheney Report,” a report officially known as the National Energy Report published by the White House in May 2001. The document revealed that imported supplies of oil accounted for half of the oil consumption in the

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United States in 2000 but will rise to two-thirds in 2020. Klare comments that despite all the discussion of oil drilling in Alaska, an issue that has irritated many environmentalists, Iraq was viewed as a priority in order to secure access in the Persian Gulf.34 Klare also comments that Saddam Hussein had begun to parcel out concessions to the most promising fields to oil firms in Europe, Russia and China. According to a report by the International Energy Agency, Hussein had awarded these contracts for fields with an estimated potential of 44 billion barrels of oil, an amount that is equal to the total reserves of the United States, Canada and Norway. Klare suggests that at current rates of $25 per barrel, the fields could be worth around $1.1 trillion. Now I would not want to reduce the war in Iraq to the desires of the oil power elite in the United States: a case could be made that the war was also about creating a spectacle of power, a spectacle of deterrence in a moment of insecurity and humiliation. Nevertheless, the “worst-case scenario” that emerges from Klare’s investigation in Resource Wars points to similar conflicts emerging in the future, along with conflicts and insecurity in the wild zones. The Offensive Realist perspective would place Klare’s view as non-Realist—and, therefore, illegitimate—analysis due to the fact that he advocates the transformation of our consumer culture in affluent tame zones. As it has already been noted, the role of the Realist is to devise means to defend ways of life inside the space of sovereign territory, to protect territory so that we do not have to transform our mode of existence, to create a secure existence inside a shield enabled by the military-scientific complex. The Realist will find offensive the manner in which Klare draws out the links between consumption, resource conflict and climate change, blurring the line of separation between First-Order and Second-Order problems. From the outset, Klare’s analysis is sensitive to the impact increased resource use could have on human-generated climate change and, in turn, the impact that climate change could have on the politics of (in)security (such as increasing competition over access to vital materials, increase in humanitarian disasters, accelerating loss of biodiversity, and so on). China accounts for 13 percent of world carbon emissions, compared to 24 percent for the United States; China’s share of emissions is expected to rise to 21 percent by 2020, while the United State’s share will drop to 20 percent. As Klare points out, implementing a regime that emerges from the United Nations Framework on Climate Change will become increasingly difficult. Sensitive to the uncertainty of human-generated climate change, Klare is reluctant to suggest how the geography of security could be affected. However, he suggests that areas like northeast Africa (through which the Nile passes) and South West Africa (through which the Tigris and Euphrates flow) will be left with smaller supplies of water. At the same time, he points out that water shortages in these regions does not make war inevitable as there are opportunities to resolve disputes over water through negotiation. But Klare points out that some of the most acute disputes over water have arisen in regions where intergovernmental relations are “fractious.”35 But what the Offensive Realist would find most offensive is that not only is Klare blurring the distinction between First-Order and Second-Order problems, suggesting that the connections between Great Power competition, resource conflict and non-traditional dangers are potentially more connected than the hierarchy allows, Klare’s blurring of these categories leads him to conclude that a First-Order problem is to find alternative ways to manage resources, an alternative political economy of security. An important component in Klare’s proposal for an alternative future is for an “accelerated, global

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program of research on alternative energy sources and industrial processes.”36 In terms of energy supplies, Klare argues that a global authority could be formed to coordinate the search for alternative fuels and to allocate existing supplies in the event of a crisis. Klare points out that the foundations for such an institution already exists with the International Energy Agency (IEA).37 The IEA was established in response to the 1974 Arab oil embargo and was intended to orchestrate the sharing of oil by the Western countries in times of emergency. For the Realist such a project is not only idealistic, it is potentially against the “interests” of great powers. Yet is an accelerated global project for devising new energy sources less “realistic” than attempting to slow the economic growth of China? Klare’s approach to the politics of security—an approach that attempts to draw out the connections between supposedly random geopolitical events and resource (ab)use—is sensitive to the issue that the problem of economic growth by states such as China is not simply that it could lead to conflict as states (and other deterritorialized networks) struggle over access to oil and other resources but that growth based on the current definition of development could have damaging future impacts on the biosphere. At this point in the argument it is important to set out a number of claims. First, securing access to the resources that enable consumer lifestyles in a fossil fuel economy has—and will continue to be—an important dimension of Great Power politics. It is credible to assert that one of the reasons for the Gulf War in 2003 was to secure access to oil. Contemporary Great Power interest in Africa may well be connected to anxieties over oil and resource access. It seems fair to assert that securing consumer existence in carboniferous capitalism is central to the politics of security. Not only is there evidence that the fossil fuel economy may lead to insecurity on a local level, as the case of the environmental destruction of Ogoniland in Nigeria made clear, it seems clear that considerable energy and resources are placed into securing existence in the tame zones. The Realist could reply that local security problems that emerge from the oil economy are of little consequence in the big geopolitical scheme of things. But while the Realist may be able to dismiss the argument that the inhabitants of the tame zones have a moral responsibility to distant Others, the long-term strategic claims are more serious. Considerable securitizing energy is invested into protecting existence in the tame zones. However, there is reason to believe that these modes of existence are creating future insecurity. The Realist perspective, secure with its retrospective authority, is unwilling to think differently, even though it is a perspective that purports to take “worst-case” scenarios seriously. The Offensive Realist may differ with politicians and policy makers on what are significant points of strategic detail (and a Realist enjoys being out of time), yet the hierarchy of First-Order and Second-Order problems that is the foundation of Offensive Realism is also the foundation of Great Power politics: the dangers may vary but they still conform to the retrospective authority of the traditional Realist imagination. Just as climate change is a Second-Order problem in the Offensive Realist perspective, so it is in the real world of power politics, even though, as the Pentagon report cited earlier makes clear, there are security experts acknowledging the threat of human-generated climate change to the national interest. Just as the Offensive Realist has to take steps to construct climate change as an illegitimate threat, as a Second-Order problem, so politicians have worked to code climate change as an illegitimate danger, as a danger that we can safely ignore. For example, in 2003 a draft of a report by the Environmental Protection Agency

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(EPA) leaked to The New York Times raised suspicions that the White House had deleted details about global warming, inserting information from a report that questions climate science (and was partly financed by the American Petroleum Institute, an industry front group). A memo circulated among the EPA apparently suggested that the report “no longer accurately represents scientific consensus on climate change.” The aim of the report was to provide a comprehensive overview of the big environmental issues.38 Another memo that was circulated by a leading Republican consultant conceded that the party has “lost the environmental communications battle” and urged politicians to encourage the view that there is no scientific consensus on the dangers of greenhouse gases: “The scientific debate is closing [against us] but not yet closed. There is still a window of opportunity to challenge the science.” The strategy of suggesting that the science is simply too uncertain has often been used by networks opposed to an ecopolitical security agenda. However, the attempts to contain the threat of climate change as a First-Order problem, as the memo intimates, becomes increasingly difficult as alternative networks composed of environmental organizations and scientific research bodies provide information that makes the hierarchy of security appear unstable. The memo advises political figures to avoid “frightening” phrases such as “global warming.” Global warming, it is suggested, should be abandoned in favor of climate change; the party should describe its policies as conservationist instead of environmentalist because most people think environmentalists are “extremists” who indulge in “some pretty bizarre behavior…that turns off many voters.” According to one source, the phrase “global warming” appeared frequently in Bush’s speeches in 2001, but virtually disappeared during 2002, when the memo was produced.39 These tactics all mirror the attempts by the Offensive Realist perspective to code climate change (or global warming) as an illegitimate threat, as a threat that needs to be actively repressed if the hierarchies of security that govern our lives are to hold. The National Energy Policy, drawn up in the first 100 days of the administration, directed by Dick Cheney, relegates discussion of climate change to what Bill McKibben refers to as “six unremarkable paragraphs in the middle of the report.” The report suggests that energy needs will rise by 32 percent by 2020—and it chooses increased production of coal, gas and oil to meet these needs: this prevents a serious commitment to respond to climate change. If we build the 1,300 power plants that various cabinet members have called for, the long term consequences will be significant, as McKibben illustrates: “A new power plant is designed to last at least forty years. Build a coal-fired one in 2003 and it will still be there in 2043, paying back its capital investment and belching out carbon dioxide.”40

Conclusion The hierarchy of First-Order and Second-Order problems that emerges in the conclusion of Mearsheimer’s The Tragedy of Great Power Politics is not subject to any substantial critical discussion or investigation. The book is concerned primarily with constructing an historical analysis that supports the thesis that an Offensive Realism is required to negotiate the dangers found in the condition of geopolitical insecurity and uncertainty. Mearsheimer’s mode of inquiry is designed to provide the foundation for a way of acting in the world, the foundation of a perspective that will create a science of protection.

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Mearsheimer’s inquiry is also a means of securing the Realist perspective in a period where non-traditional threats have created what he sees as a challenge to the traditional concerns that separate the Realist perspective from its Others. This is the problem with Mearsheimer’s position: the instinct of fear that drives his analysis is more concerned with rejoicing in the feeling of intellectual security re-attained than it is with thinking critically about the insecurity and uncertainty of global existence. As Mearsheimer admits, there are non-traditional threats emerging into the security imagination but if one is to take them seriously then it follows that one cannot be a Realist, and, consequently, cannot produce legitimate and “serious” geopolitical knowledge. The Tragedy of Great Power Politics is also a critique of the Clinton Administration’s—an administration that for Mearsheimer is the most pertinent example of non-Realist security politics—vision of “engaging” China as opposed to “containing” it: the tension between Clinton’s attempt to articulate a new security politics and the networks of Realism/the fossil fuel economy will be discussed in Chapter 4 because it reveals further limits to Mearsheimer’s position. Mearsheimer spends a great deal of time legitimating the historical foundations of his argument, developing what I would describe as a retrospective authority for his argument. From this Realist perspective, it is argued that we can have reasonable grounds to believe that because the politics of (in)security has been shaped by military threats and conflicts we can assume that the future will be shaped by the traditional military threats that Realists worry about; these traditional threats constitute the line of separation between the Realist and the non-Realist. Realism, on this view, is a perspective that attempts to meet the challenge of the extreme potentialities of the human condition, developing a science of protection: we face the extreme when we look at the world through the Realist optic, confronting the horrific stories and images from the Holocaust through to other traumatic examples of the fully enlightened Earth radiating disaster triumphant. To be sure, there are other histories of suffering and trauma, histories that may be silenced in the legitimate narratives we are taught, that are part of our popular cultures—but the Realism we are discussing here is the perspective of the Great Powers, of those who have the means to be able to focus on long-term strategic objectives. Following the retrospective authority of his argument, it appears realistic to suggest that we should maintain a precautionary principle that will prevent a peer-competitor from being able to create a situation that threatens our moral and political community with the concentration camp or nuclear wasteland. And the construction of a hierarchy of First-Order and Second-Order problems is a means to protect the politics of security from non-traditional threats that may drain our securitizing force, weakening our focus, our ability to concentrate our energies in the right areas. Mearsheimer does not have to spend much time investigating the foundations of this hierarchy of First-Order and Second-Order problems because the retrospective authority of the argument is taken by the Realist to secure the foundations. The hierarchy emerges in the final chapters of the book: the discussion of the nontraditional threats is covered in less than a page and his observations about China emerge in the concluding pages. Mearsheimer does not need to spend too much time investigating the foundation of this hierarchy because the retrospective authority of his argument works to make a critical investigation of the hierarchy a redundant exercise (or an exercise that is not for the serious to pursue). And it makes sense for the Realist to leave the discussion of the hierarchy undeveloped as its exclusion limits the possibility of lines of thought surfacing that could

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destabilize the border that separates these two categories of “problem.” This chapter has introduced some points about the non-traditional threat of climate change/resource wars to illustrate how Mearsheimer’s hierarchy is more insecure than the discussion in his book allows. The construction of human-generated climate change as a Second-Order problem in The Tragedy of Great Power Politics is mirrored in the Second-Order status it is accorded in the politics of security outside of Realist perspectives in the discipline of International Relations. Outside of the discipline, strategies have been deployed to maintain a hierarchy of security where non-traditional threats are constructed as illegitimate threats (such as the anxiety expressed by Republicans over the use of the term “global warming”). The climate change issue is—as the quote from Ridley made clear— characterized by uncertainty. How will the insecurity of carboniferous capitalism impact on the biosphere? Will future research prove that the risks have been overstated? We simply do not know. But acting on the basis of the worst-case scenario, the precautionary principle so fundamental to the Realist perspective, it seems legitimate to assert that the coding of climate change as a Second-Order problem is problematic, a failure not only of investigation but of imagination, a failure to take the “9/11” problem Mearsheimer identifies seriously. As the analysis developed by Klare suggests, a geopolitical optic that takes seriously questions of resource access and environmental insecurity can create a sense of anxiety about carboniferous capitalism (and the potential causes of future conflict). What we begin to see here is that this Realist perspective rests on a security imagination where intellectual cohesion depends on the separation of legitimate uncertainty from illegitimate uncertainty. Not only are these acts of separation far from stable or secure, they limit the type of questions we can ask about “serious” steps that could be taken to respond to the condition of global insecurity and uncertainty, the type of issues that Klare raises in the conclusion of Resource Wars: The New Landscape of Global Conflict. The “mature” and “rational” Offensive Realist perspective deals with legitimate uncertainty; yet the foundation, I am arguing, that separates legitimate uncertainty (China as threat) from illegitimate uncertainty (climate change as threat) is insecure. Realists, from their perspective, are the rational and responsible agents of protection and security; those who exist in the critical sectors of the social sciences—with their “moral outrage” at the war-machine/consumer society—not only refuse to confront the unsettling reality of future international relations, they select their First-Order problems by virtue of the ability of the threat to contribute to a critique of existence in the tame zone. Realists exist beyond ideology, beyond the nexus of power and knowledge. To give an example of what the Realist network finds dubious. In 1973 Jürgen Habermas wrote a book called Legitimation Crisis, an influential contribution to the development in the Critical Theory of the Frankfurt School, a tradition that has been concerned with developing the critical theory of Marx. In a section that discussed the problems resulting from “AdvancedCapitalist Growth,” Habermas commented that: Even on optimistic assumptions, however, one absolute limitation on growth can be stated (if not, for the time being, precisely determined): namely, the limit of the environment’s ability to absorb heat from energy consumption. If economic growth is necessarily coupled to increasing consumption of energy, and if all natural energy that is transformed into

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economically useful energy is ultimately released as heat (this applies to the total energy content and not merely to that portion lost in conveyance and transformation), then the increasing consumption of energy must result, in the long term, in a rise in global temperatures.41 At the same time, inside the critical spaces of International Relations, intellectuals such as Richard Falk were making similar claims in books such as This Endangered Planet and developing visions of new forms of global governance that would deliver human beings and the biosphere from global insecurity and uncertainty. Here, it may be argued by the Realist network that “critical theorists” or the Left—those “intellectuals” who benefit from the security that the tame zone provides but who hypocritically attempt to undermine it—have, since the 1970s, deployed the idea of an overheating planet as a way of attacking capitalism. From the Realist (and neo-conservative) perspective, it would be argued that the Left was confronted with a situation where there was no falling rate of profit (a cornerstone of Marxist thinking on the implosion of capitalism) that was pulling capitalism into the abyss; so the global environmental crisis (an issue that was uncertain and distant, still to come) could be used as the perfect argument against capitalism. For the critical theorists of society, capitalism’s perfect crime and fatal flaw was a consequence of the developed world’s consumer culture and technological advancement—and it constituted a global threat that could not be forgotten in the same way as suffering in the peripheries and wild zones of the global economy could be. Now the implosion of Cold War geopolitics, following the Realist view, created a void where it was possible for radicals, utopians and critical theorists to re-animate the threat of an overheating planet in their search to undermine advanced-capitalism, with its “apathy,” “immorality” and “de-humanizing” tendencies. This narrative on the role of radicals in ecological critiques of capitalism—that they renew their distaste for global capitalism through non-traditional threats—shapes many of the networks’ attempts to contain the threat of climate change or global warming in the hierarchy of security. As we shall see in Chapter 3, this critique of environmentalism (and “critical theory”) has been a primary concern of conservative think-tanks in the United States. The question we have to pose is this: just because intellectuals such as Habermas or Falk were making claims about the fragility of the biosphere and the limits of capitalism in the 1970s—and visions of ecological catastrophe have not materialized (although some would argue that we have already arrived at disaster triumphant)—does it mean we can rejoice in the re-attainment of security through the construction of human-generated climate change as a Second-Order problem? To be sure, some will use it as a moral argument against capitalist modernity: the threat of global warming is a useful argument because it means the “critical theorist” does not have to appeal to the fact existence in the tame zones rests on the suffering of distant Others—if global warming creates a “runaway world” we end up hurting ourselves, our carefully constructed spaces of protection. The world becomes a laboratory where we experiment on our species. Yet as the evidence above suggests, the issue cannot be reduced to this kind of simplistic narrative on attempts by critical theorists to replace the falling rate of profit discourse with ecological disaster. What I want to repeat at this point in the argument is that the Realist perspective rests on a retrospective authority, an authority that, as we shall see, is (re)produced and

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circulated in a variety of spaces outside of the discipline of International Relations. It is my contention that this retrospective authority is a failure of imagination and investigation. As Barbara Adam observes in an article on time and responsibility, the social sciences are finding it difficult to respond to risks characterized by multiple timelags and latency periods, resulting in these risks being denied “reality status.” There is, according to Adam, a clamor for “proof,” the type of proof that Mearsheimer would want. In the condition of uncertainty that characterizes a risk such as climate change “proof” is hard to come by: it is easier to deny the “reality” status of the threat (and uphold the foundation of the Realist perspective). But as Adam, writing from inside the discipline of Sociology, comments: “Such disregard for the im/material, however, creates a false sense of security. The threats we cannot see, touch, taste, smell or hear, the hazards that operate outside the time of human perception, are ignored at our peril.”42 The Offensive Realist does not feel a false sense of security. On the contrary, the Realist inhabits a world of fear, uncertainty and insecurity, the “9/11” problem. Yet the certainty behind the hierarchy does lead to a false sense of security about the future of global danger, especially as to advocate a policy of inaction is—if we are to take the condition of uncertainty seriously—a significant move, even if it is not presented as such. However, at this point in the argument, we have to be careful not to overstate the position that for the retrospective authority of Mearsheimer’s argument in The Tragedy of Great Power Politics to hold it is necessary to simply ignore the threat posed by global warming or climate change, banishing it from the imagination of serious danger. There is more going on here than at first appears. And if we are to interrogate the limits of the Realist perspective we will have to explore the foundations of Mearsheimer’s argument that is supported in a footnote to his argument. The center would not hold without this footnote. Indeed, I would go as far as to argue that the whole conclusion of the book would unravel without the use of a footnote, a footnote that I will argue reveals a great deal about the limitations of the Realist perspective. It is a point that we need to investigate because if the center does hold then Realism—and the politics of security that is unfolding in the twenty-first century—does not need to be challenged. We can retreat into the secure foundations of Realism and its retrospective authority; we can live and work in time with the dominant sources of authority and power in the world. Before go on to develop a broader analysis of the network of Realism and the insecurity of Mearsheimer’s position, it is worth drawing the reader’s attention to a warning made by E.H.Carr, an intellectual whose writings on international relations have earned him the status of “father figure” in the discipline. But, like so many intellectuals that get placed into the secure containers of schools and traditions, Carr’s writings are more sensitive to the condition of uncertainty and insecurity than crude readings of the discipline allow. In a book that is viewed as an important exploration of Realist thinking, Carr observed: The exposure by realist criticism of the hollowness of the utopian edifice is the first task of the political thinker. It is only when the sham has been demolished that there can be any hope of raising a more solid structure in its place. But we cannot ultimately find a resting place in pure realism; for realism, though logically overwhelming, does not provide us with the springs of action. Indeed, realism itself, if we attack it with its own

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weapons, often turns out in practice to be just as much conditioned as any other mode of thought. In politics, the belief that certain facts are unalterable or certain trends irresistible commonly reflects a lack of desire or lack of interest to change or resist them.43 Andrew Linklater has commented that if the “uncertainty” of Carr’s position had been explored—as opposed to being used to legitimate the Realist perspective—then the discipline might have arrived much earlier at the kind of critical thinking on international relations that Mearsheimer is trying to limit.44 Carr’s point was that we cannot find a “resting place” in the search for security or new formations of political community. As we will see in Chapter 3, the Realist perspective is complicit with the arguments made by other actors, actors who have an economic interest in perpetuating a certain view of the (in)security imagination: contemporary Realists like Mearshiemer have not heeded Carr’s warning to future Realists. Realists have found a resting place in the retrospective authority accorded by traditional threats and global danger. It could be the case that these actors, actors that Realism is intimately connected to, have the force of the better argument on their side. But what we are beginning to see is that the hierarchies of security developed by Realism are more unstable and fragile than they would like to admit. In Chapter 3 I want to uncover the backstop of Mearsheimer’s hierarchy of (in)security: Mearsheimer believes his position rests on an argument that secures his hierarchy. My contention here is that the hierarchy is insecure: if this was not the case then the science of uncertainty and protection would rest on certainty and it would be impossible—and unnecessary—to think differently about the politics of (in)security. And to uncover this foundation we have to delve into the footnotes of his argument. So does the backstop hold?

3 Illusions of Realism Power must, I think, be analyzed as something that circulates, or rather as something that functions only when it is part of a chain… Power is exercised through networks, and individuals do not simply circulate in those networks; they are in a position to both submit to and exercise this power. They are never the inert or consenting targets of power; they are always its relays. (Michel Foucault, Society Must be Defended, 1976) I think to be a theorist, you have to be creative, you have to be willing to invent new ideas, number one. Two, you have to be willing to make arguments that are likely to be controversial, and, therefore, cause all sorts of people to come after you hammer and tong. And, number three, I think you have to know a lot of history to be an IR theorist of some consequence. You have to have thought long and hard about how the world works, because what you’re doing is trying to come up with an explanation that can account for a large part of international politics. If you haven’t thought long and hard about how the world actually works, it’s hard to imagine how you could come up with a theory that could explain the world. So I think these different characteristics are essential for someone who wants to be an IR theorist. And the first two are, I think, not learned. They’re born into you, they’re hardwired into you at birth. The third you can learn. (John Mearsheimer, Through the Realist Lens: Conversation with John Mearsheimer, 2002)

In Chapter 2 it was argued that the hierarchy of First-Order and Second-Order problems that concludes The Tragedy of Great Power Politics is far more unstable than Mearsheimer is willing to allow. In Mearsheimer’s book the hierarchy that emerges is taken as being so secure that it does not even require “serious” investigation. The retrospective authority of Offensive Realism supports the view that the selection of China as the First-Order problem is simply good geopolitical-sense. No other state has the potential power to grow into such a powerful peer competitor for the United States. From Mearsheimer’s perspective, there is no reason to take seriously non-traditional threats

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such as climate change because there is “little evidence” that such a threat could “threaten the survival of a great power.” Inside the space of a page, non-traditional threats are written out of the legitimate and authoritative politics of security that Mearsheimer is constructing. Chapter 2 introduced some perspectives that began to unsettle the secure foundations of the hierarchy that emerges in the conclusion of Mearsheimer’s book. But something does not quite fit together. Although there is uncertainty about the future impacts of human-generated climate change, there is a global consensus among scientists that human-generated climate change is occurring. Now it seems difficult to imagine Mearsheimer simply buying into the view expressed by some industry “frontgroups”—such as the Global Climate Coalition—and neo-conservative politicians that fear of human-generated climate change is a conspiracy conjured up by radical environmentalists, “left-wing” scientists, global bureaucrats and cosmopoliticians in order to intensify calls for global justice or an anti-capitalist alternative to neo-liberal globalization. After all, Mearsheimer is someone who has devoted his career to studying the politics of security and danger. Yet it appears equally unlikely that Mearsheimer is dismissing non-traditional threats such as climate change because he simply cannot be bothered to investigate the evidence: it is not the case that the retrospective authority of realism is so powerful and compelling that Mearsheimer does not feel the need to even consider non-traditional threats. If this were the case then the hierarchy of First-Order and Second-Order problem would simply dissolve into “nothingness” and Mearshiemer’s book could be written off as an example of irresponsible research. This Offensive Realist perspective is built on deeper intellectual foundations, foundations that transcend the discipline of International Relations, foundations that link up to other networks of knowledge, power and influence. What appears as an effortless and authoritative dismissal, a dismissal that requires no serious discussion in the text, rests upon footnotes for legitimation. Turning to the footnotes, interrogating the underworld of the text, reveals a number of interesting points about Mearsheimer’s project and the wider politics of (in)security in International Relations. It is in the footnotes that we get to the foundation, the backstop, of the hierarchy of First-Order and Second-Order problems. This foundation remains in the shadows of Mearsheimer’s argument. However, this foundation needs to be brought into the open if we are to question the undisclosed assumptions of Offensive Realism—and maybe even other approaches to International Relations—on the politics of security.

The ultimate resource So in the final chapter of The Tragedy of Great Power Politics, a chapter entitled “Great Power Politics in the Twenty-First Century”, Mearsheimer discusses non-traditional threats. In a brief section entitled “Survival in the Global Commons” Mearsheimer argues that non-traditional threats should not be taken seriously by the Realist of International Relations: “The gravity of these threats may change over time, but for now they are at most second-order problems.”1 The discussion of non-traditional threats can be securely placed to one side to make way for discussion of the First-Order problem. The statement on the Second-Order problems is followed by a footnote, the mark of academic authority and legitimacy. For most readers the footnotes are the underworld of

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the text, notes from the underground intended for the benefit of researchers and doctoral students who want to see the signs of evidence and, if they are lucky, find references to further reading on a point of interest. To state the obvious: footnotes are often used so that the argument can progress without getting “bogged down” in what the author may view as unnecessary detail, detail that may impede the “flow” of the argument. In this instance, the footnote signals to the reader that underneath the point being made there are solid foundations. The discussion that is left in the underworld of Mearsheimer’s text is quite revealing on the Offensive Realist perspective and needs to be brought into the open. Now it may be the case that Mearsheimer feels uncomfortable introducing the ideas found in the footnotes into the discussion found in the main text. In this case, the author may feel that touching on the debates found in the footnotes will provoke lines of thought that may begin to unravel the solidity of the hierarchy he is trying to construct. The failure to include a more detailed discussion of the works contained in the footnotes may result from the fact that Mearsheimer simply believes that the arguments developed in these books are not problematic—and will be shared by the “rational” reader, the ideal reader. Whatever the reason for the failure to include what are significant arguments in the main body of the text, it is important that we investigate them. It is important we investigate the footnotes because foundations that Mearsheimer takes for granted—or simply wants to leave in the underworld of the text—may contain assumptions we may wish to challenge; more specifically, these seemingly minor details in the conclusion provide the intellectual backstop to the hierarchy of First-Order and Second-Order problems, securing the line of separation between traditional and non-traditional threats. The footnote in question cites two books. The first is The State of Humanity, a collection of essays edited by Julian L.Simon and published by Blackwell in 1995. The second book is The Ultimate Resource 2, written by Julian L.Simon and published by Princeton University Press in 1996. The marks of academic authority and legitimacy— the impressive University Press—give the impression that there is nothing significant going on here. The reader is led to believe that these works are legitimate and authoritative surveys of the scientific/policy debates related to these non-traditional threats. To be sure, there is no doubt that the author cited here, Julian Simon, is a hugely influential commentator on environmental issues. But his work rests on a number of controversial assumptions that need to be brought into the open if we are to be able to think differently about the hierarchy of security in Mearsheimer’s book (as well as the politics of security outside of International Relations). So who is Julian L.Simon? Simon died in 1998 at the age of sixty-five. He had worked as a professor of business administration at the University of Maryland and as a distinguished senior fellow at the Cato Institute, a “think-tank” I will comment on as the chapter unfolds. In an article published in Wired titled “The Doomslayer,” Ed Regis notes that after completing his MBA from the University of Chicago Simon started his own business, a mail-order firm that sold quality teas, coffees, and he also wrote a book on how to make beer at home. The book he wrote about his business experience during this period is still in print. Regis comments that Simon was “not one of those MBAs whose closest contact with the gritty world was going down to the corner newsstand to purchase a copy of The Wall Street Journal.”2 Indeed, in most of the websites dedicated to neoconservative and neo-liberal ideas, Simon is constructed as an intellectual whose

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perspectives emerged from his experience in the real world. Like many Realists in the discipline of International Relations, Simon is constructed as a realist in a world of dangerous utopians, a man who combines “traditional” values with a spirit of nonconformity and independent thought. Ben Wattenberg, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, concluded his obituary of Simon by suggesting that “unlike many of his opponents, Julian was a traditionalist. He did not work on the Sabbath, and the Friday Sabbath dinner at the Simon house was always a gentle and joyous celebration.”3 Now the Realist of International Relations would not point to such a seemingly trivial issue to undermine the position of opponents as it would be seen to soften the rigor of the critique: but the strategies are similar, designed to secure a hierarchy of realism/idealism. What is being intimated here is that Simon’s opponents (scientists/environmentalists based in academia) are subversive forces that seek to undermine Order and Security. Wattenberg goes on to note that Simon was “indefatigable the rest of the week, chasing his precious facts.”4 Simon’s realism was based on the use of facts, not dangerous and muddled “utopian” or radical thinking. Here, I am going to introduce a distinction to set out two different modes of thinking, with Realism referring to the set of ideas—already discussed in the previous chapters in the context of Mearsheimer’s book—as they have developed inside the discipline of International Relations; realism will be used to refer to ideas that exist outside of the academic traditions of International Relations but develop similar perspectives on the world, albeit perspectives that may focus on slightly different issues (the vitality of the economy, moral decay) and construct arguments in a more “populist” manner. The point that I am trying to make here is that Realism is a mode of engagement with the world that extends outside of International Relations. The intellectual “authority” of Realism depends on “realisms” outside of the discipline that work to sustain the legitimacy of the tradition: in these sections of the realist network less subtle forms of critique are used, due mainly to the fact that these articles/books are written for a broader audience. But getting back to the mythology of the realist and the strategies intended to present the realist/Realist as the person in touch with the reality of things: Simon is presented as someone who was irreverent toward authority and orthodoxy. To be a realist/Realist one must be both sensitive to the needs of the community while at the same time willing to be out of time, a lone heroic figure searching for the truth. Regis comments that Simon was never “Mr. Popularity”: “He got fired from jobs in the navy because he hated the customary ass-kissing, sucking-up, and yessir requirements. Nor has he ever been much for schmoozing, glad-handing, or the latter-day manners of get-along, go-along.”5 In an interview at the Institute of International Studies in Berkeley, John Mearsheimer makes a similar observation about his own experience in the military: “Although I spent ten years of my life in the military and I’m deeply appreciative of that experience, I actually didn’t like the military as an institution. I don’t like shaving. I don’t like sleeping in the woods. I actually don’t like guns. I don’t like uniforms. I don’t like authority.”6 It is an important part of the realist/Realist mythology to be anti-authority at the same time as you think about issues that are of great importance to the community that you are part of. Stephen Moore, one of Simon’s former research fellows and director of fiscal studies at the Cato Institute, called his obituary “Julian Simon Remembered: It’s a Wonderful Life,” an obvious reference to Frank Capra’s celebration of the value of the “little man” in a small American town, the everyday guy on main street.

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In many of the tributes that followed his death Simon is constructed as a man whose realism made him unpopular (the tragedy of being a realist/ Realist). When one of his opponents was awarded a prestigious MacArthur Foundation “genius” award Simon commented, “MacArthur! I can’t even get MacDonalds.”7 But thinking out of time is the duty that the realist/ Realist cannot refuse—it is a duty that is inescapable if one wants to be a realist/Realist (and, as Mearsheimer tells us, realism is hardwired into individuals at birth). Discussing his experiences at West Point, Mearsheimer comments that his experiences as a student there taught him to “tell the truth”: “It placed a very high emphasis on saying things that might go against the conventional wisdom, what people might not want to hear, just because it was the truth.”8 Mearsheimer concludes his discussion of this phase in his life by suggesting that the military is a “rather conservative institution” and also a corrupt institution, like many “large institutions.” Without even entering into discussion of Simon’s ideas it is clear that he and his followers mythologize themselves in the same way that the Realists of International Relations construct themselves, as intellectual outsiders. As we shall see, the difference is that whereas the Realists of International Relations are the intellectuals of tragedy, Simon and his followers present themselves as the intellectuals of optimism. Yet the ideas of Simon are intimately connected to the Realism developed by Mearsheimer. What we will see is that the emphasis on the tragedy of Great Power Politics is overstated in Mearsheimer’s book: this Realist perspective rests on a number of optimistic assumptions, assumptions that secure the line of separation between traditional and non-traditional threats. The work of Julian Simon is the key here. Simon became celebrated as a realist in a world where utopian/radical environmentalists were viewed to be creating a culture of uncertainty and fear to undermine the vitality of capitalism. The ideas, for instance, developed in The Ultimate Resource were concerned with challenging what was seen by Simon as the emergence of a culture of uncertainty and fear, a culture that was articulated in the public sphere by scientists such as Paul Ehrlich, a biologist whose books on population explosions leading to global ecological degradation became bestsellers in the United States. For economists such as Simon, the ideas being articulated by Ehrlich in the late 1960s and 1970s were not only based on flawed assumptions about science and economics, they could lead to dehumanizing outcomes (such as repressive forms of population control). At this time in the discipline of International Relations, Richard Falk—who would be viewed by Mearsheimer as a utopian or radical in the discipline—was writing about similar issues, exploring possibilities for alternative world orders that would manage this endangered planet: as an aside, Ehrlich and Falk published together, along with Jean Bethke Elshtain, a political theorist whose writings have helped create critical spaces on global politics, in an edited collection called Nuclear Weapons and The Future of Humanity. The ideas of intellectuals such as Ehrlich were seen by conservatives to be a consequence of the counter-culture of the 1960s and 1970s—for Simon it was vital that intellectuals who articulated pessimistic visions of this endangered planet, suffering a population bomb, in the public sphere were undermined. Pessimistic thinking risked undermining all the progress that had emerged from the modern worldview, a theme developed in his book, Hoodwinking the Nation. Just as Realists view utopian ideas as a route to disorder and unnecessary vulnerability, so Simon and his followers viewed environmental pessimists

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as dangerous minds whose culture of fear would lead to a society characterized by insecurity and uncertainty. According to his former research assistant, Simon was stirred into action after watching Paul Ehrlich on Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show in 1968. Discussing various apocalyptic scenarios involving population and famine, Ehrlich declared that, “If I were a gambler, I would bet even money that England will not exist in the year 2000.” In 1969 Ehrlich published an article titled “Eco-Catastrophe” and five years later he wrote The End of Affluence with his wife, a Stanford biologist. The book declared that before 1985 mankind would enter a genuine age of scarcity in which “the accessible supplies of many key minerals will be nearing depletion.”9 Simon argued in The Ultimate Resource that “natural resources are not finite. Yes, you read that correctly.”10 For Simon, the “pessimists” ignored the ability of human beings to create innovative solutions to the problems that they confronted. As Piet Strydom argues, Simon’s ideas combined Cornucopianism and Prometheanism, terms often deployed in the eco-political literature in debates on Simon and his followers: Whereas the former conjures up nature as an unlimited storehouse of resources by means of the mythological image of a goat’s horn overflowing with fruits, the latter draws on the mythological figure of the demigod who stole the fire from Olympus to portray humans as capable of finding ingenious solutions to any problems.11 Intellectuals such as Ehrlich were seen by Simon as being anti-human, arguing for reductions in population to make possible sustainable development, a move that risked repressive legislation and a limitation on the ability to nurture learning, creativity and development. The point of The Ultimate Resource, a book first published in 1981, followed by a revised edition, The Ultimate Resource 2, the book that Mearsheimer draws on, was that human ingenuity would lead to technological fixes that would not only prevent the insecure futures envisaged by Ehrlich and Falk occurring, they would improve human existence: the ultimate resource was the human being. As Ben Wattenberg puts it in a discussion of Simon’s work, supplies of “natural resources are not finite in any serious way; they are created by the intellect of man, an always renewable resource. Coal, oil and uranium were not resources at all until mixed well with human intellect.”12 So if the ultimate resource was the human intellect then it was seen to follow that as: the amount of human intellect was increasing, both quantitatively through population growth and qualitatively through education, then the supply of resources would grow, outrunning demand, pushing prices down and giving people more access to what they wanted, with more than enough left over to deal with pollution and congestion.13 Simply put, Simon was arguing that human beings have the intellectual resources to improve existence and only in economic systems where individual ingenuity and ambition was cultivated and cherished. Ehrlich and the environmental movement were attempting to create a culture of unnecessary pessimism on this issue. Simon’s mission

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was to put forward compelling arguments that justified a techno-optimism—or a Promethean and Cornucopian faith—in the promise of capitalism and technology to deliver a better future. The culture of uncertainty and fear that was articulated in the public sphere by intellectuals such as Ehrlich needed to be undermined. In The Ultimate Resource Simon challenged the “Doomsayers to Put Their Money Where Their Mouths Are.” Simon offered to stake $10,000 on his belief that “mineral resources will not rise in price.”14 The wager was designed to undermine the intellectual credibility of those who were making bold declarations about a future of global insecurity that was only decades away. He allowed any potential opponent to choose both the minerals and the payoff date. Fortunately for Simon, the ultimate “doomsayer” of the time, Paul Ehrlich, along with two other academics concerned with environmental issues, decided to accept Simon’s challenge. The result of this wager transformed Simon into a hero of neo-conservatives and anti-environmentalists, cementing his image as the realist thinker who could undermine the utopian and dangerous speculations of academics such as Ehrlich. Ehrlich and his colleagues selected a basket of five metals—chrome, copper, nickel, tin and tungsten—and decided upon a lag time of ten years. Ten years later Simon won the bet and to this day the event is still constructed by champions of the free-market as a legitimation of the techno-optimistic/Cornucopianism and Promethean perspective. More recently, the primary concerns of the wager have received attention in the media when Bjon Lomborg, a statistician with environmentalist concerns from Denmark, read about Simon’s work in the Wired article cited above and decided to explore it further in The Skeptical Environmentalist, published in 2001: Lomborg came to share Simon’s optimism on issues such as climate change. Lomborg now enjoys a degree of celebrity in forums where environmental issues are debated, a critical counter-point—a “green” developing Simon’s optimistic perspective—to commentators such as Naomi Klein, Vandana Shiva and Jeremy Rifkin. As Tom Athanasiou has argued, Ehrlich’s desire to play the game of trend-chasing was risky, especially as it was played out within such a short time-scale.15 And as Athanasiou points out in a discussion that is sensitive to many of the problematic assumptions on Ehrlich’s anxiety over population, the price of metal is not a good indicator of eco-systemic health and the wager ignored broader questions of global political economy. Ehrlich responded with a challenge to Simon, based on a more diverse set of trends but Simon declined. In short, there is not much substance to the wager but it worked well as a media spectacle, constructing Simon, the realist who was not a member of authoritative and legitimate scientific institutions, as the rational “debunker” of ecological myths, with Ehrlich as the misguided intellectual. The wager appeared to legitimate the perspectives developed in The Ultimate Resource and the book he co-wrote with Stephen Moore, It’s Getting Better All The Time: 100 Greatest Trends of the Last 100 Years: the apocalyptic scenarios articulated by tenured radicals such as Ehrlich (and others like Richard Falk) were a dangerous fad, a fad that did not stand up to realist scrutiny (and the facts). At root, this episode was viewed as a vindication of the techno-optimistic perspective: human beings can manufacture technological fixes for all problems, providing the “good life” for all the planet’s inhabitants. A journalist covering the story in the New York Times interviewed Simon and summarized his views on global warming, the issue that was

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becoming the point of controversy in the circles that Simon moved in. Simon’s perspective suggested that, in the words of the journalist, “even in the unlikely event that doomsayers are right about global warming, humanity will find a way to avert climate change or adapt, and everyone will emerge better for it.”16 Technological innovation will continue to evolve and so human beings need not worry about the dangers posed by climate change: we need to recognize, the story goes, that by the time a distant threat impacts on the biosphere (if the threat materializes at all) human society will have progressed to new levels of technological ingenuity and advancement, enabling a future civilization to cope with the problems that emerge. What we do not want to do is take costly measures in the present to respond to distant and uncertain threats: not only will they turn out to be unnecessary, they may actually harm the capitalist culture that can create solutions to problems. According to Strydom, Simon’s brand of thinking had a huge influence during the 1980s on American environmental policy, leading to the disabling of essential regulatory functions and a reversal of United States commitment to global environmental accords. Although it remains in the footnotes of the book, it is this techno-optimism that is the foundation of Mearsheimer’s hierarchy of danger, securing the line of separation between traditional and non-traditional threats. What I want to do in the next section is begin to outline the realist/Realist network, exploring in greater detail how think-tanks such as the Cato Institute have clarified and extended Simon’s perspective on climate change: this will give us a clearer idea of what is at stake in this politics of (in)security. For all the emphasis on the realist/Realist being men out of time, intellectual outsiders in a world of liberals and environmentalists, the ideas of Mearsheimer and Simon fit neatly with some of the most powerful actors in global politics and I am interested in outlining how Realism is (re)produced outside of International Relations, in spaces outside the academy. Strategies deployed outside of The Tragedy of Great Power Politics are just as significant as the footnote found in the underworld of the text in terms of acts of legitimation on this fragile hierarchy of (in)security. The conclusion of the chapter will comment on whether we should accept the intellectual backstop to Mearsheimer’s hierarchy of First-Order and Second-Order problems.

Think-tanks America—a conservative country without any conservative ideology—appears now before the world a naked and arbitrary power, as, in the name of realism, its men of decision enforce their often crackpot definitions upon world reality… Commanders of power unequaled in human history, they have succeeded within the American system of organized irresponsibility. (C.Wright Mills, The Power Elite, 1956)

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Mearsheimer and Simon construct themselves as intellectual outsiders, individuals who take on the burden of thinking out of time. Simon, on the one hand, is the optimist in a world dominated by environmental pessimists, radicals and utopians who use bad science to undermine the values of capitalism and democracy. Mearsheimer, on the other hand, constructs himself in The Tragedy of Great Power Politics as the pessimist in a world of geopolitical optimists (liberals, radicals, utopians…). At root, these two perspectives are linked together: Mearsheimer uses his hierarchy of First-Order and Second-Order problems to separate traditional geopolitical threats from non-traditional threats such as climate change. Although this position is never brought to the surface of his argument, Mearsheimer’s position rests on a techno-optimistic foundation: it is only Great Power Politics that we need to be pessimistic about. It is only these traditional threats that require Offensive Realism driven by the worst-case scenario. Regarding these nontraditional threats: we can safely adopt the “optimistic” position articulated by Simon and his followers. So all the talk of the tragedy of Great Power Politics needs to be supplemented by some caveats. These caveats can be found in The Tragedy of Great Power Politics—but one has to pay close attention to the underworld of the text. A recurring theme in The Tragedy of Great Power Politics and in the many commentaries that followed Simon’s death is the idea of the realist/Realist intellectual as someone out of time, as someone who is willing to take on the burden of going against conventional wisdom, telling people things they might not want to hear. Yet the theme of the loneliness of the long distance realist/Realist is overstated. First, while there may be different brands of Realism—such as Offensive and Defensive—Realists are not intellectual outsiders, living in exile and isolation from the legitimate and authoritative spaces of the academy. Regardless of the differences between the different brands of Realist thought, it is fair to argue that Realism is what C.Wright Mills—in his classic study of the intellectual world, The Sociological Imagination, a book first published in 1959—describes as a “leading clique.” Mearsheimer is clearly aware of the critique of academic work that Mills develops: in the preface of The Tragedy of Great Power Politics, Mearsheimer cites Mills’ comments on the need to develop a lucid intellectual craft. One of the important issues raised in The Sociological Imagination relates to how cliques work to discipline thought/research in a manner that may limit the ability of intellectuals in the academic world to think beyond the concerns of a certain class or organization. Like Bauman, Mills is suggesting that the role of the intellectual is to think beyond the concerns of those who may occupy positions of power and authority to explore how it may be possible to live differently, whether this relates to conditions in the workplace or the politics of (in)security. Mills was concerned that a “power elite” in the United States was acting in ways that were against the interests of large sectors of the population, arguing that the “commanders of power” presided over a regime of “organized irresponsibility.” From Mills’ perspective, the role of the intellectual was to keep a critical distance from the agents of organized irresponsibility and what he saw as the advocates of “crackpot realism,” a privileged elite who, in the words of Anthanasiou, “see only the indefinite prolonging of its privileged circumstances of life.”17 And for this project to be sustained, this elite needs to create illusions. The bureaucratic ethos of the university creates a system where critical thinking about the condition of organized irresponsibility becomes difficult as “new academic statesmen” work to protect their clique—or cartel—from cliques that may seek to

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challenge their moral and intellectual foundations. According to Mills, the clique maintains status through the nurturing of younger members of the clique, the assignment of books to admiring reviewers, the ready acceptance of articles and books for publication and the securing of positions on the editorial boards of journals. If a new clique seeks to discredit the dominant one then the best strategy of containment is to simply ignore their work in the hope that they will not be around for long’ (one of the “first strategies of defense is the denial that there actually is a clique or even a school”).18 Indeed, we see virtually no references to the vast “critical” literature on Realism that has emerged over the past few decades in The Tragedy of Great Power Politics. There is a brief discussion of Alexander Wendt’s constructivism. Yet given that at the time Mearsheimer wrote the book Wendt worked in the same department at the University of Chicago it would have been difficult to deny the existence of the “constructivist” challenge. There is no mention of any of the intellectuals whose critiques of Realism have been influential outside of that particular tradition, such as the writings of Richard Ashley, Robert Cox, James Der Derian, Michael Dillon, Andrew Linklater, John Maclean, Justin Rosenberg, Christine Sylvester or Rob Walker. It is safer for the Realist to ignore the critics of Realism, hoping that they “will die off without having trained the next generation.”19 So it is important to consider Realism as a clique that seeks not only to protect its interests but also to consider it as a clique that may cultivate connections to networks that contribute to the condition of organized irresponsibility. Julian Simon was a distinguished fellow at the Cato Institute, a think-tank based in Washington. The Cato Institute published three of Simon’s books, as well as many of his articles and studies. Stephen Moore, a research assistant at the Cato Institute who wrote It’s Getting Better All The Time: 100 Greatest Trends of the Last 100 Years with Simon, wrote that we “were drawn to his celebration of the individual.”20 At the outset, it is worth noting that think-tanks in the United States are different from university departments in that they perform the research and advocacy functions that would be undertaken by organized political parties in other countries. As Sharon Beder points out in Global Spin: The Corporate Assault on Environmentalism, American political parties do not have forums for policy development and so, in the absence of policy research units, the think-tank provides a means for political parties to construct the bonds of solidarity through the development of the “vision thing.”21 At the same time, think-tanks also play a useful role in providing personnel for high level government positions: the American political system allows new administrations to appoint its own senior bureaucrats including the staff of government departments, heads of departments and advisory councils. When President Reagan came into office, the American Enterprise Institute provided 20 research fellows; the Heritage Foundation secured 39 of its staff in government jobs in the same period.22 As Beder points out, in countries such as the United Kingdom the civil service acts as a “stabilizing agent” and so there is far less scope for think-tanks to play such a role.23 But the role of influential think-tanks such as the Heritage Foundation, the American Enterprise Institute and the Cato Institute is not simply to act as a high-level human resources organization. Think-tanks are in the business of thinking about the important political and economic issues of the day and articulating these ideas in the public sphere. As Beder points out, they are often referred to as “universities without students.” Think-

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tanks do not have the same “rituals of inclusion” that university departments have (the successful defense of a doctoral thesis, the publication of peer-reviewed articles); although if we accept the point made by Mills on the techniques of academic cliques to protect and reproduce themselves then this should not be seen as something that is to be frowned upon. On the contrary, spaces where a diversity of perspectives are brought together to think through the issues of the day appears like an attractive proposition, an “Ideal Speech Situation” of undistorted dialogue. The aim of the think-tank is to create expert knowledge covering a range of issues. Beder comments that: To be effective, they insinuate themselves into the networks of people who are influential in particular areas of policy by organizing conferences, seminars and workshops and by publishing books, briefing papers, journals and media releases for policy makers, journalists and people able to sway policy makers. They liaise with bureaucrats, consultants, interest groups, lobbyists and others, and seek to provide advice directly to the government officials in policy networks and to government agencies and committees, through consultancies or through giving testimony at hearings. Ultimately, think-tank employees become policy makers themselves, having established their credentials as a vital part of the relevant issue network.24 Think-tanks often work on the assumption that academic research can be “full of jargon, and often goes no further than academic journals and a very small readership.”25 Broadly speaking, think-tanks do not carry out much new research and focus mainly on adapting existing ideas (such as extending Simon’s observations), through to promoting them in the public sphere. For example, the Heritage Foundation spends around 40 percent of its budget on research: more than half goes on marketing and fund-raising, with 35 percent on public relations.26 It is often the case that the intellectuals from the academy will endorse works emerging from think-tanks, as John Mearsheimer does in a recommendation on a website called Laissez Faire Books advertising Ted Galen Carpenter’s Peace and Freedom: Foreign Policy for a Constitutional Republic, published by the Cato Institute in 2002.27 Carpenter has been director of foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute: one of his essays—“The New World Disorder”—is published in a textbook of essays that introduces students to the key issues in International Relations. Publishing alongside the likes of Barry Buzan, William Jefferson Clinton, Joseph Nye, James Rosenau and Thucydides, this is a collection that most “professional” academics in International Relations would view as major achievement in the publishing game.28 So these influential think-tanks are more than human resource departments for highlevel positions in Washington: there are figures that step outside the world of think-tanks and are legitimated and authorized by the leaders of intellectual cliques in the academy. This process of recommendation works to legitimate an individual working in a thinktank as the producer of expert knowledge, knowledge that may be more accessible than much of what is printed in academic journals—but knowledge that reaches the standards of the university system. In addition, think-tanks can open up access to “governmental” power for intellectuals in the university system, contributing to the image that they are

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academics that do have some power and influence in the “real world”—their expert knowledge is based on reality. However, most “serious” academics seem wary of working too closely with think-tanks or letting them publish their work, although Mearsheimer published an essay in a collection edited by Carpenter titled Nato’s Empty Victory: A Post-mortem on the Balkan War. Broadly speaking, it is safer for the Realist to refer to members associated with a think-tank in the footnotes—and then only to refer to works published by a “legitimate” university press. Why should this be the case? It is important for the “out of time” Realist academic to play down links to think-tanks such as the Cato Institute or the Heritage Foundation due to the fact that they are primarily funded by corporate interests. According to Beder, many think-tanks were originally established as part of the conservative backlash against the counter-cultural movement of the 1960s and 1970s, forces that were seen to be undermining moral, military and economic security with anti-capitalist and de-traditionalizing ideas. The Cato Institute, for example, is a medium-sized think-tank that was established in 1977 and the research it produces reflects a libertarian and anti-Big Government stance, a stance that resonates with the neo-liberal project of privatization and deregulation, the dream of market forces creating a deterritorialized global space. Central to the ideas of the Cato Institute is the view that the United States should be cautious about projecting its power overseas. From the perspective of the Cato Institute costly overseas adventures may detract from the main objectives of security, the project of creating a global market where interconnectedness will reduce the need for military actions. The Cato Institute would support the Offensive Realist position that it is vital to focus on the First-Order problem(s). From their libertarian and anti-Big Government perspective, the danger for the United States is that the organs of government take Second-Order problems and work to construct them as First-Order problems. Simply put, the United States has to be careful taking on a role shaped by morality (such as the “humanitarian” policing of wild zones in areas of uncertain strategic importance) because it risks undermining the economic vitality of the nation: as Ted Galen Carpenter argued in 1991, instead of embarking on “quixotic crusades for global stability or global democracy,” the United States should attempt to influence by example, as the promotion of democracy is a “worthwhile but not essential objective,” a similar argument to that made by Mearsheimer in The Tragedy of Great Power Politics.29 It is on this point that the Cato Institute would part company with think-tanks such as the American Enterprise Institute, the think-tank described as Bush’s “ideological vanguard” by the Financial Times. The American Enterprise Institute shares a similar position on the need for a neo-liberal political economy but does not share what it would view as the Cato Institute’s isolationist position on foreign policy. For the Cato Institute, it is misguided to believe that you can engage in foreign policy focused on Second-Order/ “ethical” problems (such as the war in Iraq in 2003) and have the type of economy that will be able to provide protection in the long term. Beder argues that intellectuals in think-tanks are viewed by corporate interests as being more cost-effective than university researchers, who are more concerned with peer reviews and academic quality. Researchers in think-tanks are trained to provide “soundbites” and give quotes for newspapers; they are viewed as a legitimate source of expertise and knowledge, more legitimate and authoritative than a representative of a company or business association.30 The legitimacy of the think-tank is most effective when the corporate links are kept in the shadows—with the fact that they are funded by multiple

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donors providing an image of neutrality.31 At the same time, while think-tanks may not represent the interests of an individual company their overall perspective promotes a culture that supports the interests of corporations in general. The annual budget of the Cato Institute is around $6 million: 90 percent comes from private grants and gifts from foundations, individuals and corporations, including the American Petroleum Institute, Coca Cola, Exxon, the Ford Motor Company, Monsanto and Philip Morris.32 “Liberals” responded to the rise of conservative think-tanks by setting up a number of “progressive” alternatives but they were never as well-funded as conservative think tanks, which were seen to provide instruments of authority and influence that allowed corporate interests to change political agendas or keep them on point. For example, the American Enterprise Institute was viewed to have played an important part in getting Reagan elected and making conservatism “intellectually respectable.”33 The Heritage Foundation provided information to members of Congress and their staff: most of its policy recommendations were adopted by the Reagan Administration, including a proposal to allow strip-mining in designated areas.34 In the United Kingdom, the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) was part of this network of neoliberal think-tanks inspired by Friedrich von Hayek, set up in 1955 by “rich eccentrics” and subsidized by Shell and other corporations, and linked to various think-tanks in the United States, such as the Heritage Foundation and the Cato Institute. Its activities have included producing undergraduate and secondary school textbooks and training economists early on in their careers.35 Margaret Thatcher nominated Ralph Harris, head of the IEA for a seat in the House of Lords. She wrote to him and two of his colleagues after her election victory: “It was primarily your foundation work which enabled us to rebuild the philosophy upon which our party succeeded in the past. The debt we owe you is immense and I am very grateful.”36 So among this network of think-tanks there are differing opinions on issues of foreign policy and the most influential conservative think-tanks offer their own “brand” of realist/Realist thinking. It would be misleading to imply that Realists are simply members of a clique where the disciplinary pressures of the academic statesmen, who act like the “business executive and military chieftain,” enforce a code of intellectual conduct on members of the network that has to be obeyed. And it would be misleading to suggest that an intellectual such as Mearsheimer is simply a tool of corporate interests. The instinct of fear that drives the Realist academic and the instinct of fear that drives the think-tank may result in similar conclusions about the world but they may proceed from different motivations. As it has already been suggested, the Realist perspective is a response to the instinct of fear that arises from the insecurity and uncertainty of global existence. The Realist seeks to create a framework from which to decide what we should fear; since the implosion of the Cold War, it has been essential for Realism to respond to geopolitical uncertainty, and the new formations of insecurity, by restating the Realist project. This is what Mearsheimer is setting out to do in The Tragedy of Great Power Politics: he is defending Realism against the alternative responses to the politics of security that have emerged since the implosion of the Cold War. For someone who has internalized the Realist project, made it central to their way of acting and thinking in the world, it is vital to retreat in to the security provided by the retrospective authority of “traditional” Realism, even if it means silencing the insecurities contained in the argument, limiting the space for serious discussion of non-traditional threats. The Tragedy of Great Power Politics is concerned with re-attaining a sense of moral,

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geopolitical and intellectual security in the face of uncertainty, and a period where liberals and “wired” visionaries are declaring the dawn of a world where all that is solid has melted into air, globalization and the digital age transforming international relations. Realism offers a “credible” story about human existence in an anarchical system of states. It provides a story that resonates with perspectives that are circulated in other spaces of knowledge and culture, from think-tanks, films (with Mearsheimer citing Clint Eastwood in Magnum Force), satirical writers, through to newspaper advertisements. As theorists of power, such as Michel Foucault and Richard Sennett have argued, power operates most effectively when the strategies used not only legitimate certain regimes of truth and authority as beyond contestation but when certain ways of living are internalised as a mode of identity, a “secure” way of acting and being in the world.37 So the realist/Realist identity is not a “mask” that is put on to mislead the “masses” as to their interests: it is a secure identity that provides a sense of order, stability and rationality in a world that appears insecure and uncertain. Indeed, teaching International Relations theory shows the extent to which many students will begin their studies already holding realist/ Realist perspectives on the world, already hardwired Realists. One does not have to read Morgenthau, Waltz or Mearsheimer to be a Realist, just as one does not need to read Marx to be a Marxist! So realism/Realism exists inside and outside International Relations. The power of Realism comes both from the “retrospective authority” of history and the view that to be a secure and efficient individual or state, one must act as a realist/Realist: you will not be secure in the long-term unless you act on the basis of the precautionary principle, the worst-case scenario on people around you and distant states. What I am suggesting here is that it would be misleading to suggest that the Realist is acting in intellectual bad faith, that they are simply producing work designed to legitimate in the space of the academy the (in)actions of think-tanks and corporate interests. Put bluntly, I am not arguing that the Realist is simply a mouthpiece for ExxonMobil inside the academy. Realism is driven by an instinct of fear that searches for the re-attainment of security: it is not a theory of international relations that has been constructed by oil companies and arms manufacturers. But at the same time, the Realism of intellectuals such as Mearsheimer fits too neatly with other nodes in the network of Realism. What we begin to see is that for all their protestations about being out of time, the Realist has influential friends, friends that the Realist will most likely view as other outsiders in a world of geopolitical optimists. The Realist will most likely view thinktanks such as the Cato Institute in the same way that some conservative politicians view them, as a reliable source of expert knowledge. Why turn to research by a non-Realist in International Relations when you can find the evidence you are looking for in a concise and lucid summary by a research fellow of a think-tank? Now this does not necessarily have to be a problem: simply because a theory of International Relations resonates with perspectives/research on the world developed outside the academy this should not be taken as a reason to discredit the approach in question. However, it is a problem if the intellectual (or clique) is building their position on a set of arguments that are not only expressions of corporate power but are ideas that are more “uncertain” than their intellectuals allow. What I want to do in the next section is show how the Cato Institute has extended Simon’s ideas to respond to climate change, allowing us to evaluate more fully the claims that hold together the hierarchy of First-Order and Second-Order problems.

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Warmer is better: think-tanks and climate change In Legitimation Crisis Jürgen Habermas outlines the techniques of the state apparatus for maintaining and improving the conditions for the realization of capital. Simply put, Habermas is arguing that the state takes on the role of a protective agent that seeks to maintain order and stability in moments where the (un)intended consequences of the market mechanism risk creating insecurity, insecurity that could undermine the vitality of “advanced” capitalism. As well as playing a protective role with respect to the dysfunctional effects of capitalism, the state and networks of international organization play a role in improving the conditions of capital through a number of techniques, such as improving material infrastructure (transport, housing) and the immaterial infrastructure (investment in scientific research), increasing the productivity of human labor through education and relieving the social and material costs resulting from private production (unemployment compensation, welfare, repair of ecological damage).38 A network of organizations exist inside and outside of the state, such as the Environmental Protection Agency through to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, to monitor the ecological costs of private production and the consumer society and to devise appropriate forms of regulation and education. The role of these organizations of surveillance is to protect the health of capitalism in a longer time-scale than many of the actors in a fast, networked global economy, where the speed of capital accumulation may result in decisions based on a limited spatial and/or temporal imagination. As Marx made clear in Capital, an obsession with the effective use of time is central to capitalism, especially as regulations on the use of time (such as the length of the working day) are vital to the competitiveness of economic activities. In advanced capitalism the uses of time are more intense as the information age makes financial markets faster and the ecological risks of technology can result in potentially distant (and not so distant) forms of risk and insecurity. It is the role of these networks of surveillance and protection to incorporate the long-term consequences of actions into plans to sustain capitalist growth. As it has already been noted, there is an ongoing debate concerning the ability of capitalism to respond to ecological problems, a debate that, broadly speaking, began to enter into public consciousness in the tame zones from the 1960s onwards, as the symbol of an endangered planet became the focus of deterritorialized social movements and nongovernmental actors. Increasing awareness of limits to growth and the endangered planet resulted in global events such as the Rio Earth Summit in 1992, where politicians met to devise ways in which regimes of global protection could be devised to create sustainable development. For the Realist, such attempts at global governance are doomed to failure because of the problem of anarchy, the tragedy of the commons where the “free-rider” makes it virtually impossible to create effective solutions to global problems. While there can be no doubt that these attempts at “global planning” are complex, there are other factors at work that make effective governance problematic. It is not the case that the state apparatus is inevitably the agent of surveillance and long-term protection. While the state may have agencies concerned with these roles, it does not follow that the administration in power will share scientists’ views on what constitutes a long-term threat to the sustainability of the state/ capitalism/biosphere. It may also be the case that tensions emerge between a governmental administration and certain corporate interests, as occurred between the Clinton Administration over his plans to reform health care and

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his plans to lead the planet to responsible global governance on issues such as climate change. What we see on the issue of climate change is a tension between different timehorizons inside capitalism. On the one hand, there are governments, global scientific bodies and environmental organizations that accept the view that human-generated climate change is a threat to sustainable growth. On the other hand, we have a number of corporations and governments that are anxious about protecting their industry for the longest period possible, especially as the “limit to growth” has not yet been reached and the realization of a global fossil fuel economy has not yet reached its full potential, either in terms of production (with new territories in Africa and the Caspian Sea emerging on to the market) or consumption (with new territories joining the global consumer culture modeled on levels of development dictated by the tame zones). At the same time, these same industries that are accelerating the fossil fuel economy may also be entering into emerging markets based on renewable technologies. Indeed, in terms of the cultural political economy of contemporary capitalism, “clean” technology is constructed as the future promise of capitalism, where a future based on responsible corporate behavior will create a global networked economy that is “green” and cosmopolitan. Just as the maintenance of an efficient and pure body is viewed as a necessity in increasingly competitive and risk-conscious work environments, so the move to a sustainable economy is viewed as essential to a healthy global future. On this view, a better tomorrow will emerge where innovation will create a sustainable and technologically advanced society with a human face. So while some actors in the fossil fuel economy will continue to argue that a “wait and see” approach is to be preferred in a condition of uncertainty, other actors are preparing the way for the responsible future, globalization with a human face. In most cases, actors in the fossil fuel industry will act in apparently schizophrenic ways, cultivating the aura of responsibility and sustainability at the same time as they continue with business as usual. The instrumental rationality of capitalism means that it is vital that actors in the fossil fuel economy protect their industry for the longest time possible (or until the limits to growth are reached) while at the same time preparing their entry into ecologically sustainable markets, mutating from industries of carboniferous capitalism to suppliers of sustainable energy and transport: British Petroleum becomes Beyond Petroleum. In this sense, it is inevitable there will be a transformation from the fossil fuel economy to a sustainable, climate-friendly economy. What is significant are the time-horizons involved in the transformation, as the time-horizons dictated by the instrumental rationality of the fossil fuel economy may disregard the ability of the biosphere to cope with humangenerated climate change. Therefore, it is important for actors in the networks of the fossil fuel economy to play down the threat of human-generated climate change. If climate change were constructed as a First-Order problem by a number of important actors in global politics it is possible to imagine a situation where all the energies of the society of security would be mobilized to implement new regimes of energy use. In a situation where there has been a plurality of actors (such as the IPCC, Greenpeace, Al Gore) attempting to legitimate climate change as a threat it becomes important for those who stand to lose economic or political power to work to define the threat as illegitimate.

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As we shall see in Chapter 4, the language of the Clinton Administration, discussing non-traditional threats in terms of global “responsibility” and a new security agenda, presented a problem for the interests of the fossil fuel economy. Before the election of Clinton these interests could rely on the Bush/Reagan administrations to construct climate change as (at most) a Second-Order problem. In order to secure climate change as a Second-Order threat, an attempt was made from the late 1980s onwards to argue that the threat was too uncertain to take seriously. So various think-tanks and front groups, organizations that will be discussed in Chapter 4, set out to legitimate the view that “business as usual” was the rational response. These actors focus on circulating arguments about the uncertainty of climate change science in order to legitimate a “wait and see” attitude. Think-tanks such as the Cato Institute have been working to construct the threat of climate change as an illegitimate source of insecurity and uncertainty, playing down anxieties over world destruction, haunting the imagination of disaster and fear in popular culture, that appear to be making the transition from science fiction to reality. As we shall see in Chapter 4, these interests also use a sense of “everyday” economic insecurity to fight against policies that they argue would be harmful to the economy. An example of the type of techno-optimistic arguments that the Cato Institute articulate is found in Thomas Gale Moore’s Climate of Fear, published shortly after the Kyoto negotiations in 1997: this book helps us flesh out what is at stake in the technooptimistic position on global danger. The book provides us with a good summary of the arguments that the Cato Institute deploy to construct climate change as an illegitimate source of insecurity and uncertainty. Milton Friedman describes Moore’s Climate of Fear on the back cover as a “welcome corrective to the raging hysteria about the alleged dangers of global warming.” Like Mearsheimer (and Simon), Moore wants to get to the “reality” of contemporary politics/economics and challenge the liberal policies of the Clinton Administration: the book’s central argument is that any intervention by the liberals—such as Clinton and Gore—in the global economy to prevent climate change will lead to worldwide recession, rising unemployment, and increased geopolitical tension.39 The book, using similar rhetorical strategies to those used by other “realists,” opposes environmentalism (which is constructed as soft, mystical, unrealistic, irrational and linked to the liberal values of the 1960s) to the rational, realistic world of neoliberalism and a Reaganite vision of military security. Writing about the last day of the Kyoto negotiations, Moore ridicules the environmental movement: Another group of environmentalists demonstrated against air travel; I assume they wanted us to go home by ship, preferably by sail boat. Greenpeace mounted a humungous solar-powered kitchen, with environmentally-friendly refrigerators, powered by $20,000 worth of solar panels, jutting 15 feet into the air—something all housewives hunger for. To offset the somewhat pricey cooler, they offered free solar-brewed coffee, at least when the sun was shining. Greenpeace also exhibited a huge metal dinosaur made of scrap auto parts—at least they were recycling. I admit to being impressed with the metal reptile if not with their arguments.40

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The measures that environmentalists want to implement—which are not really specified but which appear to involve regulation of market activity—to combat climate change will destroy all the things that make life “easier, safer, and more human”:41 realists often focus on the anti-human potential of environmental ideas, arguing that human existence will be sacrificed for non-human existence. A “no-regrets” policy, according to Moore, would be too expensive and if warming were to occur public policy makers would simply have to build dikes, increase air conditioning and aid farmers and ecosystems to adjust to new weather: the ultimate resource will develop a technological fix. It is vital, on this view, that the market decides what action is to be taken and if energy-saving practices are so efficient, Moore asks, why is business not already utilizing them? The market is, without a doubt, the most efficient and rational means for governing human existence. Intervention in the workings of the market rarely work, something Moore demonstrates with a variety of dubious examples. For instance, discussing new fuelsaving technology for automobiles he argues that the consequence has been to make cars lighter and more dangerous, increasing highway fatalities (and, in the case of General Motors, causing them to boost the price of its lowest cost model by $200 to meet new exhaust standards).42 Since driving a car is cheaper, people travel more, and because cars are smaller, families have more cars: “Setting rigid standards is virtually always inefficient, likely to inflate costs, and rarely productive of much gain.”43 There is no suggestion that the situation may have to be understood in a more holistic manner, in terms of the development strategies that create urban sprawl, edge cities and out-of-town mega(machine)stores (a mode of development that is hardly democratic as a third of the population cannot drive). Moore does support some measures to combat climate change (especially when they can be used in the defense of the national interest), measures that would reduce subsidies that distort the “rationality” of the market (such as the price of “extraordinarily” cheap gasoline in states such as Venezuela or the US federal government selling heavily subsidized water to Californian farmers who grow rice, a crop that generates massive amounts of methane). For Moore there is only one rational way of dealing with the issue and that is through the logic of purely economic calculation. “To justify adopting policies now,” he argues, “to abate the emission of greenhouse gases, proponents must show that, after programs to mitigate any damage are adopted, the resulting costs in lower living standards will be less than the costs of warming.”44 Such a means of calculation may have some utility in micro-economic calculations but how is it possible to make such a calculation from a long-term perspective in the context of the United States, let alone the whole planet? Moreover, how is it possible to do so in a scenario that is “replete with uncertainties and the prospect of an indeterminate and indeterminable future”? Moore manages to “prove” that climate change does not justify any interventionist policies: it would be too costly and climate change might actually be beneficial as humans have always prospered in warm periods and suffered in cold and so, from Moore’s perspective, it would be perfectly rational to speed up climate change so we can enjoy the benefits sooner.45 His analysis is grounded on the assumption that most industries are relatively “immune” from the weather. Climate principally affects agriculture, forestry and fishing, which constitute less than 2 percent of the GDP of the United States, and manufacturing, most service industries and nearly all extractive industries, are not affected by changes in climate and can be built in virtually any terrain.

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Changes in climate, he argues, will leave banking, insurance, medical services, education and retailing unaffected. In terms of the developing states, the sensible course of action is to develop their economies so they are not dependent on the weather: Poor countries dependent on agriculture are more sensitive to changes in climate. But the growth of carbon dioxide should actually help. Many of those nations are in tropical areas and will be largely unaffected because the climate will not change appreciably near the equator. Other subtropical regions should receive more rainfall and may benefit, although farmers may need to learn to grow new crops. Some low-lying countries—Bangladesh, for example—may suffer from more frequent sea flooding as water levels rise. Such places, including low-lying islands, may be the only major losers from warming. Rather than spending resources on a futile effort to slow warming, it might be more humane to help them either to accelerate their growth so they become less dependent on the weather, or to build dikes for protection from rising seas, as the Netherlands has done. Foreign aid should not be confused with environmental policy.46 A similar perspective is adopted by one of the most prominent economic theorists of climate change, William Nordhaus, who argues that “[m]ost of the US economy has little direct interaction with climate, and the impacts of climate change are likely to be very small in these sectors. For example, cardiovascular surgery and microprocessor fabrication are undertaken in carefully controlled environments and are unlikely to be directly affected by climate change.”47 Nordhaus has been influential in developing models that show that it would be too expensive to take preventative action, although he does concede that his work does not include services that cannot be valued monetarily (such as biodiversity, aesthetic value, etc). Interestingly, Nordhaus signed the “economists statement on climate change” that urged Clinton to take action to slow emissions of greenhouse gases in 1997, something that infuriates Moore but shows that some economists are aware of the abstract nature of the models they are developing.48 Aware of these problems, Moore attempts to show how climate change would be beneficial across a variety of areas by using many “micro-economic” examples that support his thesis. For instance, he argues that a warmer climate will lower transport costs because there will be “less snow and ice to torment truckers and automobile drivers,” “fewer winter storms to disrupt air travel” and “a lower incidence of storms and fog will make shipping less risky.”49 Enrichment of the atmosphere with carbon dioxide would fertilize plants and make for more vigorous growth, pointing out that agricultural economists have found that warming could push up yields in Canada, Australia, Japan, Northern Russia, Finland and Iceland by around 17 percent.50 Biodiversity would flourish in this more fertile world. Warmer weather would also reduce deaths by around 40,000 years annually: Moore estimates that each life is worth $1 million so the economy would gain $40 billion.51 There would also be a saving of three-quarters of a billion dollars by not losing work days to the flu and colds. Construction companies would be able to work more months in the year. Moore concludes that the economy of the United States could actually gain around $100 billion per year. Warmer is most definitely better.

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As Clive Hamilton argues, the risk of climate change confronts us with one of the most disturbing examples of the conceptual imperialism of economics.52 The future development of the planet is reduced to a question of consumer choice: if the market thinks something is good then it is good. For instance, writing about work carried out by William Cline on tourism and the impacts of climate change on skiing, Moore writes that: In leisure activities, he stresses skiing losses without mentioning that most outdoor activities, such as camping, golf, tennis, canoeing, hiking, and bicycling, would benefit from warming. Those activities absorb the time of more people than does skiing, which is one of the least popular outdoor recreational activities. Most people in the mid-latitude countries take their holidays in the summer; if they take them in the winter, it is to go south in search of warmth and sunshine. Nevertheless, Cline emphasizes skiing and its loss, ignoring that skiing can move north and that, with added precipitation, skiing might improve—the major difficulty most resorts experience today is lack of snowfall, not temperatures that are too warm. Although I am a fervent skier, the data show that most consumers are not and that they prefer warm weather recreation.53 If the market decides to turn the planet into the dystopic vision of Los Angeles in Blade Runner or a desert populated by air conditioned houses, “virtual” recreation and “virtual” work spaces, then there is no argument that can be made against the rationality of economic growth. After all, as Moore points out, Los Angeles has the worst smog in the nation but “still it attracts millions of people.”54 Within the economic debates constructed by think-tanks such as the Cato Institute the focus is primarily on the distributional costs of climate change, limiting serious consideration of the distributional consequences of failing to reduce climate change.55 If economists use a worst-case scenario they are being alarmist. But the fact that Moore’s reasoning is guided by a “prophecy of bliss,” an optimistic assessment on the threat of climate change, is viewed as being unproblematic. Like Realists in International Relations, the “strength” of his argument is that he is showing us the “hard” economic facts, getting beyond the hype and hysteria. However, it is easy to see the absurdities upon which this argument rests. His cost-benefit analysis may appear perfectly rational but we are “dealing not with static, isolated phenomena but with interconnected, continuously changing, dynamic situations and parameters, when the reactions are latent and invisible for long periods of time, and when the effects are manifested not in the location of perpetration but disbursed over places both near and distant.”56 What happens if climate change turns out to be far more violent than we anticipated and the world is faced with a multitude of humanitarian disasters? Who would pay for disaster relief? If people in Africa suffer because of climate changes then they just need, in Moore’s view, to adopt new forms of economy that do not rely on climate, existing in new forms of housing that protect people from the world outside. But where will they get their food? Who will help the poorer sectors of these populations adapt to new forms of housing and work? What will happen if they decide to migrate to the North? Zygmunt Bauman argues that the expert knowledge of modernity requires a process of fragmentation and abstraction: Moore abstracts his arguments from more complex

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questions of political economy and ecology; in Moore’s schema there is no such thing as ecology, just isolated individuals and their families in a technologically advanced landscape. The effects of ecological degradation fall heavier on the poor: the richer sectors of the population may be able to move to areas of better air quality and protect themselves from the effects of warming/climate change. If we accept the logic of the market that Moore implicitly supports—that there will be winners and losers, natural inequalities in which it is not down to the state to intervene—then there will be casualties from climate change. But the implications of a global underclass without ecological security is not considered by Moore: such issues are not the concern of the market (although it is inevitable that it will be the territorialized taxpaying citizens who will have the responsibility of paying for the “externalities” of the fossil fuel economy rather than deterritorialized corporate bodies). At the time of the Kyoto negotiations, the IEA also worked to construct climate change as an illegitimate threat. Like the Cato Institute, the IEA has been concerned with what it sees as the damaging effects of ecological thought and practice on the vitality of capitalism, arguing, for instance, that the teaching of environmental ideas in schools could lead to a generation of anti-capitalists. As the Kyoto negotiations approached it published a collection of essays—Climate Change: Challenging the Conventional Wisdom—which articulates the viewpoints of neoliberals on ecological politics. The IEA publication is an accessible introduction to a debate that has been dominated by what Clive Hamilton describes as the standard framework provided by utilitarian philosophy, instrumentalist attitudes and cost-benefit tools. Writing about what he sees as ecological imperialism, Deepak Lal writes a clear articulation of the techno-optimistic perspective in his foreword to the collection of essays, arguing that fossil fuel “frees man from the limits imposed by the land” and only such “intensive growth has the potential to eradicate mass structural poverty—the scourge that in the past was considered to be irremediable (pace the Biblical saying that the poor will always be with us).”57 In this view, capitalism is a liberating force that will release people from lives of uncertainty and insecurity, and therefore it has to be protected from forces that would seek to undermine it. The contributors do not attempt to discredit the idea that climate change is a genuine possibility—although changes could, it is suggested, be attributed to phenomena such as sun spots—but the ultimate resource will be able to manage it. The book includes a chapter by Thomas Gale Moore where he repeats the claim that we should actually look forward to warming. One of the essays in the collection is by Sonja Boehmer-Christiansen, someone who has written widely about global environmental politics from inside the discipline of International Relations. The essay collection puts forward an argument that is developed more fully in an important collection of essays about the international relations of climate change.58 Boehmer-Christiansen is not attempting to develop a Realist perspective. But her critical exploration of global governance fits well with the position of the networks of realism/Realism. Like the realist/Realist network, she views this non-traditional politics of security as a potentially dangerous and misguided project: environmentalism displays a contempt for humanity, postmodern thinkers (whoever they are) will use the environmental crisis to reject the welfare state and faith in science; Marxists will use climate change as the foundation for a new battle against capitalism.59

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Boehmer-Christiansen is making an important point about how we need to study the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as a “political institution acting in the interests of ‘science’ and research bodies rather than environmental protection.” However, then we have to look at the political interests of the institution looking at the political institution, leading us further into the condition of uncertainty. For BoehmerChristiansen it is vital that we recognize that organizations like the IPCC are using the threat of environmental degradation to fund complex research, often cultivating scientific uncertainty as a means for securing more funding. She also sees it as a means for the pronuclear lobby to maintain investment in nuclear power and energy, especially after the price of crude oil fell and there was the accident in Chernobyl. Ultimately, she sees the threat of climate change as a mechanism for extracting capital from the South by the North, who will be able to sell new technologies to the South through joint implementation schemes. Due to the “uncertainties” circulating around the IPCC, the rational course of action is to do nothing: Future societies may have to adjust to the changes their predecessors have caused, as we have had to adjust to the legacies of our forefathers. It could even be argued that, transferring people away from areas to be flooded in a century or so may do less damage to the planet-societies system than the conflicts which, for example, a significant carbon tax is likely to provoke.60 Even though her approach to International Relations is focused on the politics of “regimes”—and not on traditional Realist concerns—the techno-optimistic foundations support this broader network of realism/Realism. To be sure, she is making a provocative argument—but publishing this argument in a think-tank publication risks providing academic authority to a set of arguments that are far from secure. Part of the power of Realism stems from the way these techno-optimistic assumptions are left in the underworld of the text. The authority of Realism also emerges from the number of realist/Realist ideas/networks in circulation. We find, for example, developments of the realist/Realist worldview in the writings of satirical journalists such as P.J.O’Rourke, a writer who has published a variety of “witty” observations on foreign policy and economics. His writings operate within a similar narrative to that developed by Mearsheimer and Moore: one could argue that there is very little difference between O’Rourke and academic neo-conservatives (except that O’Rourke is funnier). And his works often contain discussions of science, uncertainty and economics that draw on the research of think-tanks such as the Cato Institute (the same sources, it is worth noting, that Mearsheimer draws on). He takes the arguments of economists such as Moore and presents them in an amusing and populist framework. Like the Realist, his style depends on constructing himself as the world-weary “good guy” who is telling it as it is not as all the liberals, lefties and environmentalists would like it to be. He presents himself as the “straight talking” cynic who can cut through all the absurdity of utopian thinking. This is how these authors can be so seductive: they present themselves as the rogues, the rebels with a cause that are going to challenge conventional wisdom and give us the “real deal.” There is something seductive about this style of writing: one could argue that it is far more seductive than the style of “Continentals” such as Jean Baudrillard and Paul Virilio,

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who are “difficult” and often leave the reader in a state of moral anxiety and insecurity (which is the point…). Writers such as Mearsheimer, Moore and O’Rourke welcome the reader in, giving a sense of intimacy. But getting back to O’Rourke: like the Realist, he constructs himself and organizations such as the Cato Institute as the fighters for truth and rationality in a world of political correctness, corrupt UN officials (who are “scrawny fellows”), “soft” liberals like Al Gore and Bill Clinton, and Roderick Frazier Nash, an academic who has written widely on environmental ethics. In so doing, he cultivates a hierarchy of security similar to that developed by Mearsheimer and Moore; the science behind climate change is highly dubious; a more humane world will be achieved through less BIG government; global governance is doomed to fail in a world of sovereign states. As he declares in All the Trouble in the World: Allowing nature to be controlled by our government is bad. How much worse is allowing nature to be controlled by all the other governments in the world? That is the true meaning of “Think Globally.” The United Nations—having settled Serbia’s hash, put the kibosh on clan fighting in Somalia, given the bum’s rush to the Khmer Rouge, and turned everybody in the Middle East into asshole buddies—will now save the planet.61 O’Rourke’s approach is far more vulgar than that of Mearsheimer or Moore. It involves constructing ecological concerns as immature, utopian and feminine: like the realist/Realist view, the narrative supports the view that we have to deal with the “real” security and economic issues—and the liberal, ecopolitical perspective is not the real work of security. At best, a concern with non-traditional security is an expression of middle-class angst; at worst, it is a conspiracy by socialists. To give another example from his writings: the Rio Earth Summit is depicted as a farce staged by a hugely expensive global bureaucracy, an organization that will take the United States down the road to the Gulag. Here is one of O’Rourke’s observations about the Summit: The government of Brazil spent thirty-three million dollars to build an ocean side convention site for the summit. Though called “Riocentro,” it was located in a beach suburb an hour’s drive from downtown. That way dignitaries from places like Belize and Djibouti could ride to the summit and back in high-speed motorcades with sirens going and lights flashing and motorcycle cops all around. Many of the leaders of the Third World countries don’t get a chance to do this at home except when they’re on their way to the firing squad after being deposed in a coup.62 At the same time, O’Rourke is able to make some pertinent observations about the ambiguities of international negotiations: And Brazilians, in honor of the Earth Summit had done a wonderful job of improving this already-splendid environment. They rounded up the street kids, homeless people, muggers, thieves, beggars, and pickpockets, and

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then…and then something. “Where are they?” I asked a woman who owns an art gallery in Copacabana. “The government has shipped them all away,” she said. “But where?” “Oh,” she said, “very far from you.”63

Conclusion Writing 50 years ago in War, Sadism and Pacifism, the English psychoanalyst Edward Glover commented: “The most cursory study of the dream-life and fantasies of the insane show that ideas of world destruction are latent in the unconscious mind.” But it’s clear that in today’s America these fantasies are no longer latent. The British are still reticent about their deepest fears—class war, a reversion to economic feudalism, the spectre of an alldominant and all-vapid consumer society. But in modern America, there are no suppressed dreams, no forbidden nightmares. (J.G.Ballard, “In modern America, no nightmare is forbidden”, 2004)

In this discussion of the realist/Realist networks I have been careful not to reduce Mearsheimer’s position to a crude caricature of a neo-conservative academic statesman of the power elite in the United States, a player in an academic clique that actively seeks to legitimate the (in)actions of Exxon-Mobil or the Cato Institute. Rather, I am suggesting that the Realist position Mearsheimer articulates, driven by an instinct of intellectual fear, seeks to create a secure foundation from which to make sense of a world characterized by insecurity and uncertainty. It may well be the case that some actors use (or are used by) the realist/Realist perspective for instrumental purposes, to use the symbols and ideas of realist/Realist thinking to legitimate a course of action driven by economic concerns. Yet, the realist/Realist perspective of Simon and Mearsheimer should not be reduced to this instrumental function. Reading about Simon’s life, in particular, one can sense that his search to develop a (techno)optimistic theory of the world was an outcome of his battle with depression, which resulted in him exploring “cognitive therapy,” an approach to depression that focuses one’s mental state through reflection on the habitual patterns of thought that shape identity. This result of his encounter with cognitive therapy was a book published in 1993 called Good Mood: The New Psychology of Overcoming Depression, a book that recounts how he “cured his own depression within weeks.” The reviews on the Amazon.com website point the reader back to Simon’s work on environment and population as an optimistic reference for use with cognitive therapy. Now I would not want to trivialize Simon’s battle with depression—and there is much to admire in the way he tackles a variety of issues in his work—but it does raise the anxiety that all this concern with creating an optimistic theory for technologically advanced

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society is a form of therapy, a form of escapism for those enjoying affluence in the tame zones—a tame zone where there are no forbidden nightmares. As Zygmunt Bauman has argued in his writings on the social production of moral indifference, it has been necessary to develop “moral sleeping pills” for human beings to be able to maintain indifference to all the distant—and sometimes not so distant—forms of suffering that are part of the modern condition.64 Is Simon’s work a “moral sleeping pill”? Is his optimistic vision of a future where human existence will be better a means to maintain moral distance from suffering that occurs in the present, the (un)intended consequence of the march of progress? I will return to this issue in Chapter 5. These undisclosed assumptions, brought to the surface through following the footnotes in Mearsheimer’s The Tragedy of Great Power Politics back to the writings of Julian Simon, are far more significant than their rather incidental status in the text would suggest. The references to Simon’s writings do the work so that Mearsheimer does not have to engage directly in a discussion that may raise anxiety about the stability of the hierarchy that emerges in the conclusion of the book. On the other hand, it may simply be a case that this position on capitalism’s ability to adapt and develop a technological fix to all problems is simply viewed as requiring no argumentation: the position is taken as being so secure, so beyond critique that it is unnecessary to even discuss it, even in a book as long as The Tragedy of Great Power Politics. It is “natural” in the same way that the Realist, according to Mearsheimer, is natural: hardwired at birth into the natural order of things. Yet without the foundation that Simon’s position makes possible, the Realist position—and Mearsheimer’s conclusion to the book—would begin to unravel. It would be impossible to banish non-traditional threats such as climate change to (at most) Second-Order problems. Anyway, all of this may be much ado about nothing. It may well be the case that Simon’s perspective is a solid foundation on which to build the hierarchy of First-Order and Second-Order problems. Mearsheimer’s Realism—and other brands of Realism—is built on the assumption that we need to act on the basis of the worst-case scenario on issues of Great Power Politics. We need to embrace, the story goes, the condition of global insecurity and uncertainty, not turn away into the infantile escapism offered by utopians and liberals like Bill Clinton. Mearsheimer is unwilling to question this approach to the condition of global insecurity and uncertainty on a non-traditional threat such as climate change because the techno-optimistic foundation offered by Simon is viewed as being so secure we can place the “non-Realist” threats into the category of a Second-Order problem. A Second-Order problem is not a legitimate security issue because the protection of the state is not at stake: and not only is the threat not serious, the vitality of capitalism will create a technological fix and human civilization will adapt. Now putting to one side the argument about moral responsibility to the biosphere and distant communities, it is possible to argue that even taking the narrow focus of Realism the centre does not hold. One could follow Simon in arguing that numbers of technological improvements emerge from capitalist society (such as medicines, the internet, and so on), developments that improve the quality of human existence and become available to increasing numbers of communities around the planet. However, could it be that with the threat of climate change we are dealing with an issue of a different order, an issue where the agents of protection and security may not be able to adapt and manage the ecological and human costs that result? Is not the worst-case

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scenario here one where future guardians of security and protection will not find the technological fixes? Is the faith in the technological fix a form of escapism from the danger and suffering of advanced capitalism? This techno-optimism on technological advancement may prove to be well founded (that is the uncertainty here…): maybe the ultimate resource will solve all the problems that emerge from technological advancement. But maybe we should think about this position from a different perspective. The techno-optimistic view developed by Simon and Moore, and used by Mearsheimer, is a story, a fable about the future of human beings—and there can be no “evidence,” no retrospective authority, to support this view: we simply do not know if the ultimate resource will be able to manage a threat such as human-generated climate change. That is why it is preferable to keep this argument in the footnotes of Mearsheimer’s argument, suppressing this “forbidden” nightmare in the unconscious of the book: to place such a position in the main body of the text would raise uncomfortable questions about the “realism” of Offensive Realist politics of security. In this sense, there is a lack of conviction in this position: a think-tank such as the Cato Institute will publish such arguments because they are not really intending them for an academic audience. An intellectual such as Mearsheimer will know that bold technooptimistic declarations (such as warmer is better) will undermine his position as a theorist of tragedy, undermining the separation of traditional and non-traditional threats. Passing over non-traditional threats so quickly—and with the image of intellectual authority on his side—makes his position appear compelling to the reader who is not attentive to the footnotes. Mearsheimer can avoid accusations of what Mills would describe as “crackpot” realism. The techno-optimistic view is just one of many stories that could be told about human beings and technological advancement; and this position is the backstop that secures his argument in the book. So maybe one story should be answered with another story about human beings and technology. Krzysztoff Kieslowski, the Polish film director, provides a useful response to the techno-optimistic story in his collection of ten films, Dekalog. The films are loosely based on the Ten Commandments and explore the difficulties of acting with moral responsibility—and living securely—in technologically advanced societies, societies where human relationships are increasingly mediated through technology and bureaucracy. Dekalog follows the lives of people living in a housing estate in Warsaw during the 1980s. The films focus mainly on the complexities of human relationships but there is an attempt to raise broader questions about existence in a bureaucratic society shaped by instrumental rationalities that seek to create order and discipline. The first film of the Dekalog is a critique of technological optimism that is as pertinent for those in the liberal democracies of the twenty-first century as it was for inhabitants of Poland before the end of history. The first story focuses on the relationship between a father and son. The father is an expert on computers in a university; the son misses his mother, whose absence is never fully explained, and is fascinated by the computer programs that his father devises. He is also excited about the possibility of skating on the ice near their apartment. The loving father creates an orderly and secure environment for his son, encouraging him to develop his interest in computers and mathematical problems. The father is a man who discovered at a young age that “measurement could be applied to everything.” His life is dedicated to devising technological solutions to the

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problems of human existence: he has even created a computer program that enables them to turn taps on and off, lock the front door. The father has an optimistic view that, as the son explains, is concerned with making “life easier for those who come after us.” The son, who is not yet a teenager, experiences an existential crisis when he sees a dog frozen by the cold. The son asks his father what death is: the father responds by offering “technical” observations about what happens to the human body when it dies. However, the son is asking a more profound question about why human beings exist: his father can only see the world in terms of calculation, science and the progress of technology. It is his aunt who articulates a more convincing answer to the boy, an answer that suggests that acting responsibly toward other human beings is the meaning of existence. In this sense, Kieslowski is developing a critique of the inability of societies shaped by instrumental rationality to offer answers to more profound questions of human existence: these societies focus on how to achieve certain ends, not the value of these ends, the moral implications—and the promise of a better future is the only end that matters. Kieslowski is suggesting that the calculations for this better future may prove to be flawed. Toward the end of the film, the father works out a calculation to see if the ice on the nearby lake can withstand the weight of a human body, the body of his son. He concludes that the ice could take the weight of a person three times heavier than his son. So one night, without the supervision of his father, the son takes his new skates and goes down to the lake. The boy disappears; the father is unwilling to accept his calculation was wrong—until the body of his son is found in the water. Kieslowski is posing this question: is it dangerous to place so much optimistic faith in the ability to calculate the danger of the future? Are the stakes so high for human existence that caution is needed? We are presented with two stories about technology, security and the future of human existence. Can we accept the techno-optimistic story? Or should we introduce a note of anxiety into the science of uncertainty and protection that Realism develops? Are the realist/Realists just like the father figure in Kieslowski’s film? There is another issue at play here: it seems reasonable to take the position that, acting on the basis of the worst-case scenario, we may have to recognize that the ultimate resource may not be able to protect human/non-human existence. Yet acting on the basis of the worst-case scenario would resonate with the core assumption of the ultimate resource—that human beings are creative enough to find solutions to the insecurity and uncertainty of existence. Indeed, there are a number of perspectives that argue that not only is it possible to radically transform the global energy economy, it is important that we extend the precautionary principle that is so fundamental to Realist perspectives on international relations. For example, Jeremy Rifkin, who runs a think-tank in Washington, argues that alternatives are possible, alternatives that could create an alternative political economy of security. Transformation could occur without even entering into the realm of traditional security politics: it could be business as usual. So this position is not nihilistic (or anti-modern), in the sense that we simply give up on developing technologies of protection. Far from it: the perspective developed here suggests that the techno-optimistic view articulated by Mearsheimer and others limits how we can think about the dangers and opportunities of technology: what is being put forward here can not be reduced to an either/or—either for technology or against it. As Paul Virilio puts it, after being asked a question by James Der Derian on ethical choice in an age where hardware, software and wetware merge:

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First, I believe that these three revolutions and all that we were just saying lead to a technical “essentialism” [integrisme], a “cybercult.” Just as there is religious “essentialism,” there is a technical “essentialism” through technical fundamentalism, just as frightening as religious fundamentalism. Modern man, who killed the Judeo-Christian god, the one transcendence, invented a god machine, a deus ex machina. It is necessary to be an atheist of technology! This is not simply anti-technology. I am an amateur of technology. My fetish image is that of the battle of Jacob and the angel. Jacob is a believer, he meets the angel of god, but to remain a free man, he is obliged to do battle. This is the great figure. It is necessary to obey— but also to resist.65 It is important to keep the discussion of environmental security engaged with the strategies of the network of realism/Realism because while it is possible to avoid “securitizing” the threat of climate change, it is also the case that the realist/Realist security imagination is invoked to construct climate change as an illegitimate threat—fear is used to code it as a non-threat. What we will see in Chapter 4 is how attempts were made to use fear of economic and military insecurity to construct climate change as an illegitimate threat in the public sphere. The politics of fear is deployed to not only suggest climate change is non-threat but that to take it seriously would undermine traditional forms of security. In this sense, the popular campaigns to code climate change as an illegitimate threat are cruder than what is found in the work of a Realist text such as The Tragedy of Great Power Politics. However, the aim is the same: fear is used to suggest that it would be irrational to explore ways of living differently, with less suffering or no suffering at all. The realist is unlikely to be convinced by my response to their techno-optimism. But the (Offensive) Realist has another strategy to deflect criticism on this point, another strategy that constitutes a limit, another example of the tragedy of realism. To this issue I now turn.

4 Mearsheimer and the vicious circle One thing that bothers me greatly about most political scientists today is that they have hardly any sense of social responsibility. They have hardly any sense that they’re part of the body politic and that the ideas that they are developing should be articulated to the body politic for the purposes of influencing the public debate and particular policies in important ways. They believe that they’re doing “science,” and science is sort of an abstract phenomenon that has little to do with politics. In fact, I think exactly the opposite should be the case. We should study problems that are of great public importance, and when we come to our conclusions regarding those problems, we should go to considerable lengths to communicate our findings to the broader population, so that we can help influence the debate in positive ways. (John Mearsheimer, Through the Realist Lens: Conversation with John Mearsheimer, 2002)

From the outset of The Tragedy of Great Power Politics, it is clear that Mearsheimer is attempting to undermine what he sees as the liberal view of international relations that was articulated by the Clinton Administration during the last decade of the twentieth century. In a section on “The Virtues and Limits of Theory” Mearsheimer outlines the foundations of the Clinton Administration’s foreign policy rhetoric. He points to the connections between the three main liberal observations on international relations and the language of the Clinton Administration. According to Mearsheimer, these are the core assumptions of the liberal view of international relations: “1) the claim that prosperous and economically interdependent states are unlikely to fight each other, 2) the claim that democracies do not fight each other, and 3) the claim that international institutions enable states to avoid war and concentrate on building cooperative relationships.”1 For Mearsheimer these liberal perspectives on international relations provide the foundation for the Clinton project. As the student of International Relations considers the theories and rhetoric of politicians, he advises us that the “trick is to distinguish between sound theories and defective ones” (p. 10). Liberal approaches to international relations are defective; President Clinton’s view of international relations was defective. An Offensive Realism, on the other hand, is a “sound” theory that offers a useful description of Great Power Politics.

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Mearsheimer’s ambition in his book is to make the case for an Offensive Realism after a century where a number of presidents have been concerned with “realism bashing” (p. 23). From Mearsheimer’s perspective, this task is important because the American citizenry is hostile to Realism: Realism is a perspective that is “at odds with the deepseated sense of optimism and moralism that pervades much of American society” (p. 24). Now Mearsheimer understands himself as a theorist of tragedy, the intellectual that is attuned to the insecurity and uncertainty of Great Power Politics, the darkside of modernity that the optimists wish to ignore. Yet as I argued in Chapter 3, a “deep-seated” sense of optimism rests in the foundations of his hierarchy of First-Order and SecondOrder problems, as well as the foundation of economic arguments put forward by “conservative” think-tanks such as the Cato Institute. These perspectives rest on a sense of optimism about the ability of the ultimate resource—innovative individuals working in free-market economies—to solve the problems that emerge from the (un)intended consequences of technological advancement. Simply put, this Realist perspective rests on geopolitical pessimism coupled with technological/economic optimism. The line of separation that emerges from this perspective defines—and limits—the legitimate concerns of Realist approaches to International Relations. So Mearsheimer grounds his position on the view that he is a theorist of tragedy. The history of International Relations proves that traditional Great Power threats present the most serious source of danger for human existence (in the tame zones). This perspective rests on the view that it is difficult—and irrational—to challenge the retrospective authority of this position. It might be the case that a non-traditional threat such as humangenerated climate change can be managed by the “ultimate resource.” But we simply do not know. It may be the case that the forms of insecurity that emerge from humangenerated climate change will be as destructive for human and non-human existence as weapons of mass destruction and Great Power Politics. However, Mearsheimer is unwilling to extend his “tragic” and “offensive” perspective to non-traditional threats, threats whose inclusion would undermine the foundations of his brand of Realism, a brand of Realism that has found a supposedly secure “resting place.” In this sense, it is necessary to construct the Realist perspective on a sense of optimism and faith in technological progress because it allows the Realist to argue that while geopolitics continues to be a realm of insecurity and uncertainty, at the level of technology “things are getting better all the time” and so we should continue business as usual. From a critical perspective on the politics of (in)security, it can be argued that this position rests on a faith about technology and the ultimate resource that should not be accepted so easily: the “rational” approach to a politics of security would be to act on the basis of the worst-case scenario, to broaden our conception of the tragedy of international relations to include non-traditional threats that could be as destructive as more “traditional” dangers. Yet the Realist is unlikely to take this critical perspective seriously. The Realist will most likely respond that there is simply no evidence to prove that non-traditional threats are First-Order problems—and there is every reason to have faith in the techno-optimistic perspective. The Realist is unlikely to even consider this techno-optimistic position as a serious concern: as we have seen in Chapter 3, it is a debate that can be dealt with in the footnotes. It is either a debate that an intellectual such as Mearsheimer would rather not

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draw attention to—for fear of undermining his presentation as a theorist of tragedy—or it is simply viewed as unproblematic, accepted wisdom about technology and progress. However, the (offensive) Realist can make an intellectual move that they will suggest undermines any further attempts at critique on this point, protecting their position from a non-traditional politics of security. What I want to do in this chapter is ask this: does this alternative backstop hold? Or does it reveal more limits to the (Offensive) Realist perspective? Mearsheimer argues that while the optimistic language of liberalism resonates with the American citizenry, a “discernible gap separates public rhetoric from the actual conduct of American foreign policy”: “Behind closed doors, however, the elites who make national security policy speak mostly the language of power, not that of principle, and the United States acts in the international system according to the dictates of realist logic” (p. 25). There is simply no point in trying to think differently about the “traditional” politics of security. The elites that manage the politics of security, inside and outside the United States, operate on similar assumptions about the need to create a line of separation between traditional and non-traditional problems, to act on the basis of Realist concerns. Mearsheimer does not go into detail about these (power) elites who operate behind closed doors: he informs us that his theory “pays little attention to individuals or domestic political considerations such as ideology. It tends to treat states like black boxes or billiard balls” (p. 11). Again, this is a useful strategy of deflection—there is no need to ask critical questions about the projects of these realist/Realist elites for securing the Great Power. There is no need to investigate the assumptions upon which these elites build their politics of security, nor is there any need to investigate the interests that these elites may seek to protect. From this perspective, it is not important that these elites may wish to limit the politics of security for economic or political gain. The point, he is arguing, is that the elites, elites attuned to the tragedy of Great Power Politics, speak the language of power and Realism, not the language of moral responsibility and nontraditional security agendas: so it is foolish to try to think differently when the elites operate on the basis of Realist power politics. The role of the intellectual in International Relations should be concerned with developing better Realist perspectives: an approach to foreign policy based on “optimistic” liberal assumptions will result in a misguided and incoherent politics of security, with First-Order and Second-Order problems fusing together in such a way that the ability of the Great Power to secure itself risks becoming undermined. In this chapter I want to show that Mearsheimer is correct to make this point about the elites that construct the politics of security: there are networks of power that construct a hierarchy of First-Order and Second-Order problems, constructing traditional and non-traditional threats in the public sphere. What we will see later in the chapter is that these networks of power develop arguments similar to those developed in The Tragedy of Great Power Politics, attempting to play down the threat of human-generated climate change, to construct the threat as a non-problem—and as an issue that could undermine the ability of the United States to focus on First-Order problems. A (sympathetic) Realist could respond to critiques of the techno-optimistic perspective by arguing that while there is validity to the position argued here it rests on a fundamental flaw: the elites of foreign policy develop their politics of security on techno-optimistic foundations so there is no point in challenging them even if we did feel anxious about

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these concerns. The “real work” of International Relations is to develop a better realism, focused on traditional threats: this is the “reality” of Great Power Politics. If new forms of insecurity emerge from carboniferous capitalism then the ultimate resource will provide solutions: the same economic drives that may have contributed to humangenerated climate change will develop the solutions, the technological fixes. However, I want to suggest that this position represents one of the most profound limits of the Realist perspective. It is the case that the politics of security is shaped by elites speaking the language of power, Realism and technological optimism. Although, as the Pentagon report published in 2003 demonstrated, there are security experts raising questions about traditional conceptions of security, the report was criticized as “global-warming nonsense” by the conservative press. One article in National Review Online, outraged by suggestions that global warming could be worse than terrorism, coded the authors of the report in terms of “a ‘what-if’ exercise conducted by a couple of well-known ‘futurist’ consultants who presumably make a tidy sum from coming up with the sort of scenarios science-fiction fans enjoy creating at the weekend.”2 The article fails to acknowledge that the report has the backing of Andrew Marshall, dubbed by insiders at the Pentagon as the Yoda of security thinking, head of the Office of Net Assessment and a key architect in the transformation of network-centric war: in this coding, Marshalls’ “risk assessment” is only useful when focused on legitimate uncertainty, traditional problems of war and insecurity.3 But the Realist perspective can find intellectual security, the “force of the better argument,” in the view that it responds to the broader concerns of Realist elites, developing arguments that may be of use to power elites as they develop Realist foreign policy. But should we accept that the “real work” of International Relations is about working on the development of a better formulation of Realism? In order to develop an approach that appears to be in touch and in time with the elites of foreign policy, should we sacrifice the ability to think critically about the politics of security? The Realist offers a serious argument here: the tragedy of Great Power Politics is too serious to indulge in critical thinking about how the world could be. Given that the power elites speak the language of power we might as well help them secure the state in the most effective manner possible. But if we accept the view that technologically advanced societies are creating dangers that traverse the separation of First-Order and Second-Order problems, is it responsible to retreat into the authority and security of Realism? Is the desire to describe the reality of Great Power Politics worth sacrificing the ability to think differently? Is it worth erasing the intellectual spaces from which we can ask critical questions about those who create the politics of security so we can be in touch with the “reality” of power politics, a reality defined by these elites? What if the politics of security is a form of organized irresponsibility? Mearsheimer has already decided the answer to these questions: while he is willing to challenge what he sees as the optimism of the citizenry, he wants to write for those who speak the language of power and “tragedy.” This move enables Mearsheimer to deflect criticism over the techno-optimistic foundations of his and other Realists’ position: his Realism is in touch with the elites of foreign policy (and out of time with the optimistic majority). Realism reflects the concerns of these elites, the reality of Great Power Politics, and these elites reflect the “sound” Realist theory of International Relations: there is a dangerous circularity, a vicious circle, at play here.

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In this chapter I want to suggest that Mearsheimer is correct to point to the importance of the Realist elites that speak the language of power. I will go on to argue that there was a tension in the liberal years of the Clinton Administration between a non-traditional security agenda and the traditional concerns of power politics. This tension was evident inside the administration’s liberal project. But it was also the case that when Clinton began to articulate a non-traditional politics of security focused on the threat of climate change, the “elites” of foreign policy responded by putting forward a defense built on Realist principles, arguments that are the same as those put forward by a Realist such as Mearsheimer: the elites of foreign policy do speak the language of Realism—and not just behind closed doors. Just as Mearsheimer seeks to silence anxieties about his hierarchy of security, so these elites sought to uphold the line of separation between traditional and non-traditional threats in the public sphere. These strategies all work to limit dialogue on the politics of security, limiting the possibilities for thinking differently about the condition of global insecurity and uncertainty. Yet this would be of little concern to a Realist such as Mearsheimer, whose instinct of fear drives him to rejoice in the reattainment of intellectual security.

The Clinton Administration and the politics of security President Clinton often deployed the type of liberal rhetoric about international relations that Mearsheimer finds damaging for the implementation of a coherent Realist perspective on foreign policy. Clinton declared that for the first time in history there was no difference between domestic and foreign politics. “Our personal, family, and national future,” he suggested, “is affected by our policies on the environment at home and abroad. The common good at home is simply not separate from our efforts to advance the common good around the world. The world must be one and the same if we are to be truly secure in the world of the 21st century.” His foreign policy speeches were littered with references to “moral responsibility” toward those at risk from the insecurities that arose from “globalization.” Clinton also used the language of ecopolitical correctness. As Ulrich Beck observes, the “compulsion to perform ecological lip-service is universal”: “Admittedly this is all just packaging, programmatic opportunism, and perhaps really intentional rethinking now and then. The actions and the points of origin of the facts are largely untouched by it.”4 Al Gore published Earth in the Balance, where the Vice-President argued for a Global Marshall Plan to reduce the environmental risks that technological advancement had created; discussing climate change in 1992, Gore declared that: [M]inor shifts in policy, marginal adjustments in ongoing programmes, moderate improvements in laws and regulations, rhetoric offered in lieu of genuine change—these are all forms of appeasement designed to satisfy the public’s desire to believe that sacrifice will not be necessary.5 A new conception of non-traditional security, a security politics sensitive to the dangers of the borderless world, was needed, a globalization with a human face.

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The rhetoric of the Clinton Administration stressed the need to deal with threats outside of the traditional imagination of Realism and Cold War geopolitics. After the Reagan and Bush years of welfare cuts and increased militarization, Clinton’s project was constructed in terms of a politics of responsibility, a “third way” that could manage the various forms of insecurity that emerged from the processes commonly referred to as “globalization” or the “information age.” Clinton constructed his administration as the route to a planet where the risks and opportunities of the global economy could be managed in a way that could benefit all the human beings that entered the space of liberal democracy. The era of globalization was coded as the route to progress, civility, a deterritorialized planet of multicultural encounter, cosmopolitan ethics, Internet consumerism, open societies based on the knowledge economy, with corporations, ideas, images moving effortlessly around the CNN world. Globalization could lead to the realization of the Enlightenment dream of a cosmopolitan liberal world order based on free trade and peace, what Francis Fukayama described as the end of history. The insecurity that emerged from globalization could be managed by better global governance, through policy instruments such as the Kyoto Protocol. This was the global vision thing that provided the foundation for the language of the Clinton presidency. Clinton continues to articulate these themes as he comments on international affairs on the lecture circuit and in newspaper articles. After the events of 9/11, he published an essay—“World Without Walls”—that presents a clear articulation of his alternative vision of security, exploring the possibilities for a non-traditional security agenda. For Clinton, the “great question is whether the age of interdependence is going to be good or bad for humanity.”6 Using a language that could have been written by a “non-Realist” in International Relations, he declares that the future of humanity depends on “whether we can develop a level of consciousness high enough to understand our obligations and responsibilities to each other.” We have to face the “dark side” of globalization. Turning his attention to the War on Terror, he explores how his liberal vision can open up a new security agenda where the enlargement of the global economy and liberal democracy, coupled with technological innovation in the biological sciences and information technology, can create new political spaces that support diversity and difference. This new security agenda has to include problems such as “global warming” and the spread of AIDS, the Second-Order problems of Realist thinking. His vision of security involves putting in place structures that can enable the potential of the networked, information age to be realized across the planet: Compared to the costs of fighting a new generation of terrorists, putting 100 m kids in school around the world is an inexpensive proposition. And it can be done. In Brazil, for example, 97 percent of children go to school because the government pays the mothers in the bottom third of the poorest families every month if their children attend school. The Afghan war costs America about $1 bn a month. For $12 bn a year, America could pay more than its fair share of every programme I’ve mentioned.7 The line of separation between First-Order and Second-Order problems, traditional and non-traditional threats and solutions, begins to disintegrate here. It is through enlightened

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self-interest, and not Realist national interest, that a world can be shaped by the forces of liberal democracy. In one of the boldest statements in the essay, Clinton declares that the role of the West is to encourage dialogue in the Muslim world on “the nature of truth, the nature of difference, the role of reason and the possibility of positive, nonviolent change.” In response to anti-globalization movements, Clinton has suggested the problems raised by the protests ought to be addressed by “a very serious attempt to put a human face on the global economy and to direct the process of globalization in a way that benefits all people.”8 This “optimistic” attempt to open up possibilities for a non-Realist conception of security, the promise to create a planet based on respect for difference and dialogue, is an example of what the realists/Realists find so irritating and misguided, inside and outside the discipline. For the Realist, such a position speaks to the optimistic tendency in the political culture of the United States (a perspective they see themselves being distanced from), the view that we can rethink the politics of security in a manner that brings prosperity and peace to the planet. As the Realist reminds us, behind closed doors it is the language of power that dictates the politics of security; or it may be more precise to argue that behind closed doors elites connected to broader networks of power (such as the military-scientific complex, the fossil fuel industry) attempt to present their concerns and interests as the route to a legitimate and “universal” Realist security politics. Furthermore, the Realist may add that for all the interest in the biosphere and a nontraditional security politics, the Clinton Administration was just as concerned with power politics as defined by these networks and elites as it was with globalization with a human face. Indeed, rather than construct President Clinton as the first president of the deterritorialized “network society” or the information age, it may be more suitable to point to continuity in the foreign policy of the United States. As Michael Klare points out, the protection of critical raw materials and transit routes has long been a major concern in the politics of security in the United States. For example, in the late 1800s, a prominent naval strategist won support for his suggestion that growing participation by the United States in international trade required the establishment of a large and powerful navy.9 This was followed by similar arguments put forward by President Theodore Roosevelt in the early 1900s. As Gabriel Kolko points out, the production of petroleum in the United States is expected to remain constant until 2020. However, consumption over the period 1998–2020 is projected to rise from 18.9 to 25.8 million barrels daily. This growth in consumption will require increased importing of petroleum. At the same time, the rise of China will increase competition for access to resources: Kolko suggests that experts in Washington are afraid that this will increase the leverage of states around the Persian Gulf in the coming years.10 It is common for critics to argue that when George W.Bush came to power it heralded an age when the interests of the fossil fuel economy came to dominate foreign policy, with observers often pointing to the links between various members of his “team” and the oil industry. However, for all the rhetoric about non-traditional threats such as climate change and responsibility for the biosphere and future generations, the Clinton Administration was incorporating resource concerns into its politics of security. In September 1997, as the implication of the Kyoto negotiations for the security of the United States was being discussed in the media, five hundred American paratroopers

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were involved in a simulated combat near the Tien Shan mountains in Southern Kazakhstan. The simulation involved the paratroopers linking up with friendly forces from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan to defend the territory from “renegade forces” opposed to a regional peace agreement.11 This was the first deployment of troops in what had been the Central Asian republics of the Soviet Union and was the first example of direct United States military cooperation with the newly independent states of the Caspian Sea region. As Klare points out, the exercise was justified in terms of defending the stability of the region. Yet it was clear that there were a broader set of geopolitical concerns at play: surveys had indicated the presence of vast reserves of oil and natural gas in the Caspian Sea.12 The Department of Energy estimated that the Caspian Sea basin contained as much as 270 billion barrels of oil—or about one-fifth of the world’s total of petroleum. This created opportunities for foreign investment in the new economic environment made possible by the break up of the Soviet Union. The main energy firms announced plans to explore these possibilities, with the Commerce department, along with other federal agencies, helping companies to establish joint ventures with Central Asian energy firms to establish the necessary infrastructure. In broader geopolitical terms, the region was viewed as an alternative source of energy, providing alternative supplies if relations with states around the Persian Gulf became problematic.13 In April 1997 this project of enlargement was articulated by the Department of State to Congress, where it was suggested that the United States needed to focus on “enhancing and diversifying” energy supplies, a precautionary principle against future insecurity and uncertainty. On August 1, 1997, President Clinton discussed this project with Heydar Aliyev, the president of Azerbaijan, with Clinton explaining that the project would strengthen national security.14 A second simulation was carried out in September 1998; in 1999 the military created a complex computer model intended to shape plans for possible interventions in the area. There are plans for possible military bases in Azerbaijan.15 During Clinton’s second term in office there was a renewed interest in sub-Saharan Africa: this project has been continued by the administration of George W.Bush. Delegations were sent there and projects were set up involving a number of government agencies.16 The region is viewed as a space of strategic interest, a result of projections that suggested that Africa—with 16 percent of the United States oil imported from subSaharan Africa—could become more significant than the Persian Gulf in terms of resource access: the importance of other minerals, including platinum, cobalt, bauxite, and manganese has also been acknowledged.17 This interest has been followed by an increasing involvement by the military, with the Department of Defense providing training and/or military aid to 33 of the 48 sub-Saharan states, as well as attempting to create an African Crisis Response Force. Klare points out these developments are modest but represent a “significant expansion of American interests in the area.”18 This concern with sub-Saharan Africa has been shared by other states, such as Britain and France, who have also expanded links; China and Japan have likewise increased their presence in the region through commercial investments. Mark Duffield points out that China has been seeking to diversify its oil supply, and has been responsible for the building of a pipeline from the south of Sudan to the Red Sea outlet in Port Sudan; China is now one of the region’s main weapons suppliers.19

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For all the talk of global responsibility and a non-traditional security agenda, the politics of security developed through the Clinton Administration can be understood in terms of a broader project for securing the interests of the United States, a project concerned with securing access to resources that make the mobile, high-consumption lifestyles in the information age possible. There was no traditional “Cold War” geopolitical threat that could justify the perpetuation of a military-scientific complex in an information age, the age of the borderless economy: in 1996 the Pentagon expressed a concern that the politics of security needed to focus on access to markets, energy supplies and strategic resources, along with warnings about failed states and “dangerous technologies,” in order to justify increased spending on the military. For the five years ending in 2005 the Pentagon asked for $1.6 trillion dollars.20 Kolko suggests that the Clinton Administration encouraged the Pentagon’s “insatiable demands” for increased spending on security: in January 2000—with an eye on the 2000 presidential race—it added $115 billion to the Pentagon’s five-year Future Years Defense Plan, extending it beyond what the Republicans were calling for; the realist/Realist strategy of constructing opponents as liberal/unpatriotic/soft means that non-Realists often have to deploy preemptive moves to deflect criticism on these points. The administration refused to sign the Ottawa Landmines Treaty; it opposed many of the terms in a proposed treaty to control the small arms trade that the National Rifle Association opposed, disliking and strongly opposed as it is to linking American arms exports to criteria on human rights and democracy.21 The United States share in the world trade in weapons grew from 32 percent in 1987 to 43 percent in 1997. Of the 140 nations it gave or sold arms to in 1995, 90 percent were not democracies and abused human rights. At the beginning of 2001 the Pentagon had over half a trillion dollars in major weapons systems in the pipeline, all of which were approved by the Clinton Administration; the share of global military spending increased from 32 percent in 1985 to 36 percent in 2000. Regardless of the motivations behind the administration’s politics of security, it would be misleading to imply that the “optimistic” rhetoric of a liberal Clinton results in a cosmopolitan responsibility for distant strangers and the biosphere. It may be the case that Clinton was constrained by “Realist elites” that sought to undermine his liberal global agenda. In this sense, Mearsheimer is correct to assert that behind closed doors elites speak the language of Realism and power. When Clinton attempted to push for a non-traditional security agenda these elites came out from “behind closed doors” to make the case for a traditional, Realist agenda. So Mearsheimer’s argument is in time with the reality of Great Power Politics and the elites that shape foreign policy. But the instinct of (intellectual) fear that drives him to represent and describe reality as it is means that one pays the price of not being able to think critically about these elites (in the sense of thinking about more fundamental questions than questions of realist/Realist strategy): all that matters is that one describes the reality of Great Power Politics. From this perspective, it is reasonable for the realist/Realist to challenge these elites on questions of strategy. But as long as these elites uphold the separation between traditional and non-traditional threats there is no need for a broader critical interrogation of these elites. Taking this position provides a sense of intellectual security because you simply mirror the perspective taken by the elites: you might not be able to think critically about the politics of security but you can dismiss all other perspectives as misguided, not in touch with reality—which is exactly the strategy that is used by the elites to secure

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their hierarchy of security. In order to secure the hierarchy of traditional and nontraditional threats, the Realist has to use the same strategies—such as deploying the techno-optimistic view—for limiting discussion on the politics of (in)security and uncertainty. The danger here is that one becomes trapped by a dangerous circularity, a circularity that constructs the Realist view of the reality of insecurity as the only reality of insecurity. In the rest of this chapter I want to show how these elites, these networks of realism/Realism, responded to Clinton’s non-traditional security agenda by making the same arguments that a Realist such as Mearsheimer makes; it might be more pertinent to suggest that Mearsheimer uses the arguments made by these elites in order to keep in time with the reality of Great Power Politics. This is the intellectual price to pay for being a Realist of International Relations, driven by the desire to find a secure intellectual resting place.

The Clinton Administration and climate politics In the liberal rhetoric, vagueness, and in the conservative mood, irrationality, are raised to principle. Public relations and the official secret, the trivializing campaign and the terrible fact clumsily accomplished, are replacing the reasoned debate of political ideas in the privately incorporated economy, the military ascendancy, and the political vacuum of modern America. (C.Wright Mills, The Power Elite, 1956)

At the beginning of his presidency, Clinton was “committed” to achieving the nonbinding target of 1990 levels of emissions by 2000. In 1993, Al Gore told the UN Commission on Sustainable Development that the United States and other developed countries had a disproportionate effect on the global ecology and therefore had to take responsibility for their lifestyles.22 On the surface, this position was much different from that articulated by the previous Bush Administration. Clinton worked to present himself as someone who was well versed in the non-traditional problems of globalization and the information age, unlike the Cold Warriors, Realists who were out of time in new geopolitical environments. Hostility toward ecological issues had been nurtured in the Bush Administration by a small circle of presidential advisors, led by former Chief of Staff, John Sununu. The group of advisors, led by Sununu, believed—or purported to believe—that climate change was being used by environmentalists to damage the economic security of the United States with an “anti-growth” agenda.23 According to one source, Bush was less informed about the climate change issue than other world leaders (such as Margaret Thatcher), coming to know about the issue and the policy options through Sununu.24 There were attempts to alter the balance of power in the Bush Administration in 1989 when the Environmental Protection Agency and some other agencies, such as the State Department’s Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs

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(OES), began to challenge the construction of human-generated climate change that was being promoted inside the White House. Sununu was able to orchestrate the resignation of two key players in the OES, a move that was to make the development of climate change policy the sole responsibility of a White House working group under the direct control of Sununu.25 So the anti-ecological ideas that emerged from the networks of realism/Realism were endorsed by the Bush Administration at the Rio Earth Summit as the pressure of presidential primaries began to be felt.26 Prior to Rio, the Bush Administration had deployed some “pro-environment” rhetoric: as Beck observes, the compulsion to pay ecological “lip-service” is universal, cutting across traditional party lines. But as Timothy Luke suggests, this image was demolished at Rio with Bush declaring that “the American lifestyle is not up for negotiation.” Bush’s Realist stance was made clear when he declared that, “I am President of the United States, not President of the world, and I’ll do what is best to defend US interests.” William K.Reilly, head of the Environmental Protection Agency, said that signing all the treaties at Rio was “contrary to the interests of the United States.” In 1990, President Bush’s chief of the Office of Management and Budget declared that: “Americans did not fight and win the two world wars to make the world safe for green vegetables.”27 Although the coding is far more vulgar than that cultivated by Mearsheimer, the message is the same: ecological issues are not the “real work” of security politics. And those who take non-traditional threats seriously will open themselves to ridicule, to accusations of irrationality and utopianism by the elite networks of realism/Realism. This strategy confronted Clinton during 1997 as his language focused on non-traditional threats such as human-generated climate change: at the time of the Kyoto negotiations, an editorial in The Wall Street Journal entitled “Kyoto’s Fantasyland” asked: “So once again we are left to wonder and ask, What’s the point? How has something loopy at worst and murky at best risen to the pinnacle of the Clinton Administration’s second term?”28 Late in 1993, the Clinton Administration released the Climate Action Plan, with officials in the White House Office of Environmental Protection warning industries than if voluntary actions were not successful in reducing greenhouse emissions more regulatory measures would be put in place.29 As the Kyoto negotiation approached in 1997, emissions were projected in 2000 to be 13 percent higher than 1990 levels but some observers have argued that they would have been far higher without the agenda set out in the Rio Earth Summit.30 At a meeting in Berlin in 1995, developed countries set a deadline for agreeing a legally binding protocol that would put in place a global institutional framework to manage climate change policy. A deadline was agreed for December 1997. In Geneva in the summer of 1995, Timothy Wirth, Undersecretary for State, declared that the United States would support a more binding agreement, although the figures mentioned were far less than the 20 percent decrease in emissions that Europe had suggested were necessary.31 Wirth announced that the United States would support binding targets with timetables and he offered strong support for the report of the second assessment report of the IPCC, agreeing that climate change was underway and caused by industrial processes.32 In a speech to the United Nations in 1997, Clinton declared that, “We humans are changing the global climate… No nation can escape this danger. None can evade its responsibility to confront it, and we must all do our part.”33 The Rio Earth Summit “pledge” was for the United States to reduce its emissions to 1990 levels by 2000 but

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emissions were 7.4 percent above 1990 levels by 1996. The administration had been working to devise policies to push industry toward alternative “smart growth” for the era of globalization and deterritorialized threats. Early on in his presidency, Clinton had pushed for the btu tax, a tax designed to promote a reduction in oil imports, making gas and coal more expensive, stimulating energy efficiency. Clinton was unsuccessful—and in his bid to sell the policy he failed to stress the connections with broader issues of ecological security.34 Clinton and Gore introduced some initiatives to encourage corporate interests to ecologically modernize their operations. For instance, a partnership was set up by the “Big Three” (Ford, General Motors, Chrysler) to produce cars by 2001 that could produce greater efficiency compared to contemporary standards. Their consumption was to be encouraged by a $3000 tax credit.35 As Kyoto approached, some corporations attempted to help the Clinton Administration sell the treaty by forming 37 partnerships with utilities in developing countries, backed by funding from the Agency for International Development, with the intention of developing cleaner and more efficient energy systems, aiming to play down the perception that climate change had been “invented” to curb growth in the developing world. In June 1997 Clinton announced a plan to place solar energy panels on one million roofs by 2010; the Clinton Administration spent $1 billion on climate change-related issues in 1999 through increased investment on public transport and energy efficiency programs.36 These measures were still fairly insignificant compared to the resources that were deployed to maintain the fossil fuel economy. New-car fuel economy declined during the Clinton Administration due to the use of the ultimate symbol of car culture, the SUV. It is useful to note here that car use in the United States is subsidized by $121 billion annually and for every dollar spent on public transport the car receives $7.37 In 1996, the year of the presidential election, the price of gasoline went slightly higher to around $1.35 a gallon; Clinton’s response was to open the Strategic Petroleum reserve, a reserve held for national emergencies in an attempt to keep prices low.38 In the flexible and deregulated energy market, electric utilities have been drastically cutting energy efficiency programs: one report has suggested that energy efficiency programs were cut by $736 million between 1993–7, leading to dirtier air, with 42 of the largest electric utilities completely eliminating investment in energy efficiency.39 Congress also rejected the President’s proposal to make fossil fuel produced on public land subject to a market-based royalty rather than subject to subsidized rates. As Kyoto approached, the Senate was mobilized to place strict conditions on Clinton’s proposals for the negotiations in Kyoto. This resulted in the Byrd-Hagel Resolution in July 1997 which stated that the United States could not sign any agreement on greenhouse emissions unless it stipulated specific reductions in developing countries.40 Further hostility toward the Kyoto negotiations was mobilized when the National Association of Manufacturers met early in 1997, with the United Mine Workers of America, a union with influence in the American Federation of LaborCongress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), managing to create hostility toward the negotiations by tapping into anxiety about job (in)security. Clinton’s strategy for dealing with climate change in 1997 was to encourage measures that would allow Americans to maintain their present modes of consumption and transport, a painless economic and technological fix. This included “flexible” plans for joint implementation schemes whereby developed countries would invest in emissionssaving projects in developing countries in return for credits that could be used to emit

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greenhouse gases. It would also allow states to trade their ability to release greenhouse emissions: if Russia was not releasing sufficient quantities of greenhouse gases then America could buy credits in order for it to be able to release more. Kyoto was a step to create the infrastructure to make such activities an everyday part of economic life. However, as Michael Sandel commented in The New York Times, emissions trading is perceived by developing countries as a way for rich, industrialized states to buy their way out of altering the foundations of their economies and societies.41 This was a major source of division at Kyoto but the negotiations concluded with developing countries agreeing to allow trading to be carried out by developed states. As Sandel points out, emissions trading makes it possible for politicians to defer difficult policies about transport and energy policy by buying permits from developing states. He argues that trading turns pollution into a commodity that can be bought and sold, removing the “moral stigma” that can be attributed to environmental degradation. From this perspective, if a company or state is fined for creating pollution the community conveys a moral judgment that this is unacceptable behavior. A fee, Sandel avers, makes pollution “just another cost of doing business, like wages, benefits and rent.”42 He concludes that the distinction between a fee and a fine needs to be upheld: the longer the developed are perceived to be buying their way out of responsibilities concerning the global environment, the harder it will be to bring developing countries on board in future global regimes. Emissions trading also reduces the need to develop innovative technological solutions to the problems we face: the technological fix can be developed at a later date. It is widely held that Clinton lacked the discipline to work steadily on “big issues” and was reduced to last minute mobilization, a political dynamic that occurred most notably in the war in Kosovo, where he had prepared neither the Congress nor the public for war and then took rapid action. The Kyoto negotiations were no exception. One democrat pollster observed at the time of the Kyoto negotiations that “[w]hat’s important now is that this is a battle for definition as much as anything else.”43 Clinton did very little to define his “free-market” solution to deal with climate change (perhaps out of fear of appearing too bureaucratic or too regulatory) and he did little to define climate change as a threat, a threat that could have dire long-term impacts on American “security.” In the previous year he had won the presidential election on a platform that had declared an end to Big Government: according to George Stephanopoulos, Clinton was advised to steal the popular-sounding parts of the Republican platform and sign them into law.44 The language of non-traditional threats was replaced with a more conservative vision, a vision that reduced insecurity to issues of policing. After the election, Clinton appeared to distance himself from the Democrat Party and “liberals” were not appointed to major posts in the administration.45 Clinton was growing vulnerable: he suffered an important defeat in November 1997 when he was unable to gain sufficient votes in Congress to grant him fast-track authority to negotiate trade deals, something he had previously described as a cornerstone of his economic policy. In order to “sell” climate change as a “threat” to the citizenry, The White House invited one hundred local television weathercasters from around the United States to a presidential briefing in the first week of October: this was overshadowed by an emerging scandal over Clinton’s campaign fundraising. Al Gore used a trip to Glacier Park, Montana, where climate change is believed to be making the glaciers recede, to define the

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threat of human-generated climate change. But by December 1997 even supporters of Clinton were arguing that very little effort was made by the administration to articulate the climate issue to the citizenry, to create dialogue on the politics of security.46 Amid all the arguments from the Senate and the networks of the fossil fuel lobby projecting economic apocalypse if a protocol emerged from Kyoto, six Nobel laureates published a statement backed by over 2,000 economists declaring that the fossil fuel industry’s claims about economic chaos were flawed. There were also attempts by Greenpeace, and other environmental groups such as the Sierra Club, to construct climate change as a legitimate threat; the National Council of Churches produced a spot with Maya Angelou reciting a poem about our responsibility to the planet. So the Clinton Administration made a half-hearted attempt to construct humangenerated climate change to the citizenry. From the Realist perspective this is inevitable: if you are pushing for a politics of security that is different from the Realist one that circulates “behind closed doors” then you are bound to be unsuccessful—it is not realistic to challenge these elites. Furthermore, it is misguided to challenge these elites because they have the force of the better argument, the authority of Realism on their side. It is pointless to focus political energies on these distant, illegitimate forms of uncertainty in a world shaped by Realist elites—and real, traditional threats. What we will see, however, is that a number of strategies are deployed outside of International Relations to secure the hierarchy. At the same time, there were also powerful divisions among the Democrats—inside and outside the administration—concerning Kyoto, with organized labor movement opposing the negotiations. So it is not simply the case that Realist elites sought to construct the threat of climate change as a form of illegitimate uncertainty. The Clinton Administration had received at least $12 million from the fossil fuel lobby. Individual oil and utility executives invested $400,000 in the 1996 campaign: coal and labor unions had invested $50 million in the 1996 democratic campaign.47 The House Minority leader, Richard A.Gephardt, who was at the time considered a contender for the Presidential race in 2000, remained silent on the Kyoto issue, sending a delegation to the negotiations that was divided in its views. There was also divisions inside the administration with Timothy Wirth, the undersecretary of state for environmental affairs, one of Clinton’s “greenest” advisors and the official in charge of the negotiations, growing increasingly skeptical of the influence that Clinton’s main economic advisors, Lawrence Summers (Deputy of the Treasury) and Janet Yellen (chairwoman of the council of economic advisors) were having on policy formation. These advisors were reluctant to let Clinton go along with the measures that Wirth was advocating. Soon after the Kyoto negotiations, Wirth left the administration for a position in a foundation set up by Ted Turner. Al Gore, the once passionate defender of the Earth against the fossil fuel economy, was balancing his environmental views against his desire to build a solid coalition in his race for the next presidential election, a coalition that would need the support of organized labor and business. Gore made it clear that there would be no tax increases to deal with the problem, although he did propose a $5 billion package of tax incentives and research grants to energy efficiency projects. The administration took so much time searching for consensus that there was little time to sell the project. Clinton did not announce his position until October 22, only a few weeks before the negotiations were to start. All the policies, such as tax increases and

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incentives/subsidies that could be introduced were too “ambitious”—and politically risky—to articulate at the end of history, the dawn of a (neo)liberal age of international relations. Ross Gelbspan argues that if Congress were to provide $20 billion in tax credits and incentives then alternative sources of energy such as wind power would soon become profitable; in places where there are strong wind currents, wind power would be a cheaper source of energy than oil and coal.48 However, Clinton was not going to risk policies that seemed too interventionist or regulatory (or utopian) for an uncertain global threat. Clinton could pay lip-service to the danger of climate change—to play to the sectors of his party that take such issues seriously—but he was unwilling to translate the rhetoric into political force. It was easier to reduce the insecurity of existence to issues of policing: this was a period in the United States where, according to Bauman, “an ever more gory and spectacularly cruel lot needed to be reserved for those declared criminal, in order to match the fast-growing fears and anxieties, nervousness and uncertainty, anger and fury of the silent or not-so-silent majority of ostensibly successful consumers.”49 To appear to be “tough on crime”, on both sides of the Atlantic, carries electoral currency, offering citizens a potential pathway out of the sense of fear, insecurity and unsafety they feel. And it is not just conservative elites that focus on these immediate and visible forms of insecurity. Bauman, noting that it is widely believed that his first electoral victory was due to the political currency afforded by the execution of a retarded man, Ricky Ray Rector, points out that Bill Clinton won his presidential elections by promising to multiply the ranks of the police, along with the promise to construct more secure prisons.50 Critics have suggested that Clinton presided over a “Presidency of small wins” where the large projects that were planned (such as healthcare reform) have been cast aside in favor of smaller measures (expansion of health care to children, greater health care for adults that switch jobs, a “bill of rights” for patients). Richard Gephardt suggested that the Clinton Administration developed “small ideas that nibble around the edges of big problems” and an ex-press secretary of George Bush declared that: “Clinton does the assistant secretary-like thing. They work for him, but Bush would never have gotten involved in something like whether air bags should be slowed down.”51 This was a presidency for an era unwilling to engage in a grand politics of security: in the security of the end of history, before the events of 9/11, small measures were preferable to “grand narratives” that appeared to create burdens in an era where ideological and Cold War geopolitical (un)certainties had come to an end, replaced by an era of flexibility in foreign and domestic politics, the only measures that were viable in an era that cherished the idea of less government intervention in society and the economy. Indeed, one of the few instances where Congress was not hostile to Clinton’s foreign policy agenda was in May 2000 when the House of Representatives voted to normalize trade relations with China, voting 237 to 197 to approve the President’s China Trade Bill, a move that paved the way for China’s entry into the WTO. After a $10 million public relations offensive that saw corporate interests allied with Clinton against the AFL-CIO, the implementation of normal trade relations (PNTR) guarantees low-tariff trade between the United States and China: the most prized concessions for US business were elimination of tariffs on hi-tech goods and a reduction on tariffs on American motor cars from 100 percent to 25 percent by 2006.52

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So we need to be careful not to construct an opposition with liberal/ Clinton representing the “good” and the “responsible,” with realists/Realists representing “irresponsibility” and “evil.” Clinton used the language of moral responsibility and nontraditional security as part of his presentation as a president for a new age of globalization, an information age where progress would not be limited by the geopolitical games of Cold Warriors. Clinton tapped into fears that many felt about global environmental problems. Yet using the language of ecopolitical correctness and taking action are worlds apart and Clinton would have been aware that a non-traditional politics of security would risk undermining his presentation as a leader creating a dynamic consumer society of security. Indeed, part of Clinton’s appeal was the absence of a grand Realist project that necessitated a costly politics of security. Furthermore, it would have been unwise—from the perspective of power politics—to take this issue too seriously as the elites of foreign policy do not just work “behind closed doors”; as we shall see in the next section, it is not just that they can make it difficult for an administration to implement an alternative politics of security, Realist elites responded to this nontraditional agenda, making the case in the public sphere for a return of the Cold Warriors. A non-traditional threat such as climate change is difficult to construct as a legitimate First-Order problem: due to the complexities of climate science, along with the complex policy options, it is much easier to articulate the view that it is an illegitimate source of uncertainty. Clinton struggled to articulate policies that challenged conservative elites and networks of corporate power throughout his presidency: vagueness raised to principle. Early on in his presidency, Clinton’s attempt to reform health care was undermined by strategies that played on the idea that his policies would lead to the creation of new bureaucracies. An important part of this group’s campaign was an ad campaign run on television (the “Harry and Louise” ads) which talked of the creation of “another billion dollar bureaucracy.”53 On top of this, Theda Skocpol suggests there was a divide between “experts who designed a technically compelling policy and, on the other hand, operatives who were supposed to sell the finished program to those who would have to live with it.”54 Similarly, in an analysis of media and politics, Manuel Castells comments that: after months of acrimonious debate on Clinton’s health plan reform proposal, which occupied extensive media attention, polls indicated that the large majority of Americans were confused and unsure about the content of the proposal, and about the substance of criticisms aimed at the plan. Never mind. What the barrage of media controversy, fed by insurance companies, medical associations, and the pharmaceutical industry, succeeded in doing was to kill the proposal even before it came before Congress for a vote, let alone was discussed by the citizenry. Media have become the main political arena.55 The problems caused by networks of conservative/Realist/corporate resistance to this “liberal” aspect of Clinton’s agenda continued into his second term. But this time it was aimed at discrediting his attempts to create an alternative politics of security. This campaign was organized by some of the same public relations companies that had developed the

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“Harry and Louise” advertisements. Only this time they were working for the networks of realism/Realism.

Climate change as an illegitimate threat What we see in the second term of the Clinton Administration are attempts to contain the threat posed by the language of a non-traditional politics of security. Clinton’s attempts to respond to the threat of climate change—or to cultivate an image of ecopolitical correctness—were fraught with problems: division among the administration that had sold itself on being concerned with economic security and vitality; the unwillingness to risk the support of unions and corporations for such a “distant” and “uncertain” threat. However, this emphasis on an alternative to the concerns of realism/Realism was still viewed as a threat to a traditional politics of security, a secure hierarchy of First-Order and Second-Order problems. It was necessary for the elites of foreign policy—and networks linked to carboniferous capitalism—to make the case for a Realist politics of security in the public sphere. What we see in these campaigns is realist/Realist ideas expressed “behind closed doors” (and in works of International Relations) circulating in the public sphere. In this sense, what happened as the Kyoto negotiations approached fits perfectly with the description of power politics in Mearsheimer’s Offensive Realism: the elites of foreign policy came out to speak the language of power, (in)security and traditional threats. The Realist universe is the reality of Great Power Politics and the theorist of International Relations must respond to the concerns of these elites: one can create arguments about how the world ought to be. But it will not be of any use to the elites of foreign policy: the real work of International Relations is to develop better Realist arguments. All other intellectual activity, on this view, is distraction (or therapy…). The danger here is that you develop a theory of International Relations that “fits” the view of security put forward by these elites. The Realist can defend this position by saying the aim of the intellectual is to be in time with the reality of power politics (and maybe out of time with the “optimistic” citizenry). There is no need to feel anxiety about the elites’ conception of security because you have had to internalize these arguments— with their retrospective authority—in the drive to represent reality. As we shall see now, the Realist has the perfect argument—or the perfect intellectual crime: these elites do speak the language of power and Realism. Yet, in the drive to be in time with reality the Realist loses the ability to think critically—or simply to think—about the politics of security because in order to secure the connection between the (Offensive) Realist and these elites it is necessary to accept/internalize the foundations of the politics of security that is developed “behind closed doors” or in the footnotes. The desire to be in touch with power in a way that other theories cannot means that the Realist finds a secure “resting place,” a resting place where contemporary Realism has to be conditioned by other modes of thought, losing the ability to think differently about the politics of security. A vicious circle is put in place. There is, as we have seen already, a network of think-tanks and Realist intellectuals that rely on the same thinkers and arguments (such as the ultimate resource argument developed by Simon) to play down the threat of climate change in the public sphere in

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order to secure the hierarchy of security. Just as networks of power work to define a threat as a First-Order problem, so these same networks may have to play down supposedly Second-Order problems: these strategies work to discipline and secure the politics of security, securing the hierarchy. One of the main players developing this strategy was the Global Climate Coalition, a front-group that formed shortly after the first meeting of the IPCC in 1989 for the purpose of presenting the arguments of economic interests.56 It is difficult to know all the strategies that go on “behind closed doors.” It may be the case that we can never know all the strategies that have been used to define human-generated climate change as an illegitimate threat. But it is possible to get a sense of the Realist arguments that are put forward by these elites and their networks to legitimate their politics of (in)security—and illustrate how the arguments put forward are intimately connected to the descriptions of power politics developed by a Realist such as Mearsheimer. But getting back to the Global Climate Coalition: the Coalition was composed of 40 board members who each paid $20,000 a year to sit on committees (including Chevron, Exxon, General Motors, Ford, Texaco), a general membership (including Union Carbide, Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co., Shell Oil Company and McDonnell Douglas) and many smaller companies (general members who each paid $2,500 a year to support the coalition). In 1997 their web site declared that “[m]embership includes a broad range of business from virtually every sector of the US economy. Large manufacturers in the aluminum and paper industry join small businesses with common interests in maintaining the abundant and inexpensive energy that keep American standards of living the envy of the world.”57 This amounted to around 23,000 members in 1997. The Global Climate Coalition was a product of the Burson-Martsteller public relations firm but was also represented by the E.Bruce Harrison Company. After the military massacred supporters of the liberation movement in East Timor, the Indonesian government paid Burson-Martseller $5 million to improve the country’s image in Australia on human rights and the environment; within the public relations industry, Harrison is seen as a “legendary figure” because of his work for the pesticide industry, leading an attack on Rachel Carson, the author of Silent Spring.58 the Global Climate Coalition organized its unified position along with projects for individual members, such as the National Coal Association, which spent more than $700,000 on the climate issue between 1992–3. Like the Cato Institute, the Global Climate Coalition, along with the Global Climate Information Project, attempted to create Realist knowledge of the world that would cultivate indifference, coding climate change as an illegitimate threat (or no threat at all). Through the Global Climate Coalition (and the Global Climate Information Project), elites critical of the Clinton Administration attempted to appeal to the core assumptions of a Realist politics of security. This attempt to code the risk of climate change was reinforced by the Byrd-Hagel Resolution in the Senate, limiting Clinton’s room to maneuver. This was just one of many attempts to limit the possibilities for defining the threat of climate change as a serious problem, an illegitimate source of uncertainty: in 1994 Republican congressmen abolished the Office to Technology Assessment, a nonpartisan body that was designed to screen and filter the science that policy makers depended on.59

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In the run-up to Kyoto the coalition of fossil fuel interests are estimated to have given $50 million to the Democratic and Republican parties. Greenpeace estimate that $20.8 million was donated in the 1995–6 period by the oil industry, of which 77 percent went to Republicans. Greenpeace also evaluated sectoral donations to members of three senate committees that play an important role in climate policy: energy and natural resources, environment and public works and commerce, science and transportation. Oil, mining and transportation interests donated $11.7 million dollars to senators from these three committees between 1992–6: this group of senators represents roughly half the Senate, with 77 percent going to Republican senators. Oil and gas contributed $7.8 million of the total, of which 80 percent went to Republican senators.60 Outside the United States, Lee Raymond, President of Exxon-Mobil, one of the largest corporations on the planet, traveled around the developing states before the Kyoto negotiations telling governments that if they wanted to continue to attract inward investment from corporations like Exxon-Mobil then they should not participate in the construction of the treaty.61 One of the dominant Realist themes in the attempts to construct human-generated climate change as an illegitimate threat was the view that “liberals” were not focused on securing the national interest of the United States: the liberals misguided conception of security risked weakening the ability of the United States to protect itself. These themes surfaced in many of the spaces where human-generated climate change was constructed as a threat/non-threat in 1997. For instance, in a speech given to the Senate on October 3, 1997, Chuck Hagel made these comments about Bill Clinton and Ted Turner, after advertisements from The Global Climate Information Project were banned from Turner’s Television channels (such as CNN) after pressure from environmental groups. After declaring that the Kyoto negotiations could place shackles on the American economy, leading to a “lower standard of living for our children and our future generations,” he went on to say that: And the White House, Mr. President, is not alone. Yesterday, Ted Turner ordered that all ads opposed to this treaty be pulled from CNN. This is the kind of suppression of speech we usually expect from totalitarian countries. These ads were being run by American business, business organizations, agriculture, consumer groups, and labor unions, which very much oppose the White House approach to global warming and have very legitimate concerns about the impact this treaty would have on them and the American people. Why are they running these ads? Because the White House is only telling one side of the story and because it has been difficult to get the media to cover any alternative point of view. Yet, Ted Turner thinks the treaty is a great idea. He has spoken on it all over the world— the world is coming to an end. So he unilaterally pulls the ads of those who disagree with him and prevents this viewpoint from being aired to the millions of Americans who watch CNN.62 Hagel goes on to quote the opinion of The Wall Street Journal who suggested that “Ted Turner may now have become the world’s number one supporter of the United Nations, but when it comes to citizens of the United States he apparently would just as soon they not hear arguments against the UN’s pet treaty.” Here, Ted Turner (who at the time was

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married to “Hanoi” Jane Fonda) is presented as the “cosmopolitan,” the liberal who wants to limit the ability of Realists to challenge this non-traditional politics of security. Hagel constructs himself as the politician representing “everyman” against sinister forces that are hiding the “truth,” the straight-talking “realist” who is going to stand up for the ordinary citizen in a world where the liberal view is dominant. Like others in the networks of realism/ Realism, Hagel constructs himself as a patriotic/heroic Fox Mulder searching for the truth against a sinister government authority in an episode of The XFiles: This also cuts to the heart of our national sovereignty. We don’t hear much about our national sovereignty. Is that important to me? Yes, it is. I think that it is important to every American. It cuts to the heart of our national sovereignty by setting up an international authority that would subject US businesses and industries to its authority and penalties. Never before in the history of this free nation has that occurred. This is one senator that will not allow it to occur. To be sure, to initiate critical discussion of the implications of the negotiations is vital but the threat of climate change is non-existent in Hagel’s rhetoric: the only “First-Order” threat to the United States is that posed by the liberals, the environmentalists who want to limit growth, undermining the American way of life. As I have already suggested, the threat of climate change does not have the retrospective authority of traditional sources of insecurity; it involves complex debates about scientific uncertainty and policy mechanisms. But the narrative that Hagel articulates develops a simplistic and powerful story about power politics that taps into many sources of fear and anxiety: powerful “cosmopolitan” elites selling out the United States for political and economic gain; corrupt politicians and businessmen attempting to silence the “truth”; global organizations intent on domination of the United States. This narrative has all the components of a paranoid Hollywood thriller. An alternative narrative could be articulated that contained the same “cinematic” devices—such as the apocalyptic scenarios depicted in The Day After Tomorrow—about corporate attempts to play down the threat of climate change: if such a narrative were to be articulated by important players such as Clinton there would be serious political risks involved. As it was, Clinton was opening himself up to the accusation of being an “irresponsible” and “misguided” liberal. So through defending sovereignty against external dangers Hagel proves his political potency in a world of uncertain, deterritorialized risks: he constructs himself as a tragic/heroic Realist, a rational guardian of the national interest. Hagel goes on to fully banish the threat of human-generated climate change from the serious concerns of geopolitical management. He declares that: And it would have a devastating impact on our national security interests. There is not much talk about that either. One of the biggest users of fossil fuels in America is what? The US military. So are we really talking about subjecting our national security and our national defense to unknown environmental quests? I don’t think that is smart. I don’t think the American people want this body of policymakers to do that.

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In this move, Hagel constructs a hierarchy of security where traditional, First-Order problems need to be secured from Second-Order problems, “the unknown environmental quests.” The language may lack the “sophistication” of The Tragedy of Great Power Politics but the mode of argumentation is the same: non-traditional threats are illegitimate concerns that are not “smart” to pursue, “quests” that take the United States into unknown territory. A politics of security based on traditional concerns is the route to a “smart” future; human-generated climate change is a form of illegitimate uncertainty and insecurity. A similar narrative is developed in the newspaper advertisements that were part of the $13 million effort to construct climate change as a non-threat, a form of illegitimate uncertainty. The advertisements were created by the same media team—Goddard and Claussen/First Tuesday (whose other clients include the Chlorine Chemical Council, the Chemical Manufacturers Association, Dupont Merck Chemicals)—that produced the “Harry and Louise” advertisements during the attempt by the Clinton Administration to reform health care, the advertisements that stressed the dangers of Big Government. One of the advertisements at the time of the Kyoto negotiations showed a man in a suit (possibly Bill Clinton) looking at a map on the globe. Mexico, Latin America and other “developing” regions have been cut out of the map by a pair of scissors. At first glance, it looks like a geographical representation of the potential consequences of climate change for developing countries: they are cut out of the global society due to the ecological problems that climate change causes their societies. However, the written text makes it clear that the image is designed to fit into the Realist politics of security: these territories are cut out of the map because they would be exempt from many of the regulations that the Kyoto agreement would make mandatory for the developed world: “Americans will pay more for everything that requires energy to transport or manufacture, while 132 of 166 countries, including India, China and Mexico, are exempt.” A similar perspective is adopted in an advertisement declaring that “The Only Thing this Treaty Cools Down is America’s Economy.” One journalist has reported seeing an advertisement that declared that “America has signed many treaties…but never a treaty of surrender”: this was the caption above a photograph of Japanese soldiers surrendering at the end of World War II.63 Even The Economist, a magazine that supports global free trade, declared that, while it would be vital for developing countries to join the treaty at some point, it was important for the United States and other developed states to lead by example.64 A major theme of these campaigns focused on the economic threat posed by global governance to the consumer and worker. For a Realist like Mearsheimer, there is no need to defend his position by focusing on anxieties about jobs being lost to Mexico or India. For Mearsheimer such a threat is just one of many that could emerge from an issue that can be managed by the ultimate resource. Bauman argues that there is an “intimate kinship” between the forces of globalization and territorialization: “Global finance, trade and information industry depend for their liberty of movement and unconstrained freedom to pursue their own ends on the political fragmentation of the world scene.”65 Similarly, in his study of Fordism and American global power, Mark Rupert argues that Ford attempted to “reassert the identity of interest between the company and its workers’ through its employee involvement program, a program that sought to play down the adversarial relationship with labor by focusing instead on the common threat that labor and management faced from foreign competition.”66 These advertisements are an

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example of attempts to create this sense of fragmentation and territorialization; they develop the idea that organizations such as the Global Climate Coalition are “responsible” authorities with an interest in protecting the interests of all citizens that live in the United States: they are agents of organized responsibility, working to protect territory in a period of deterritorialized threats. In January 1998 an advertisement from a foreign policy think-tank—the Committee to Preserve American Security and Sovereignty—appeared in the Washington Times and Roll Call. Again, the dominant theme is of an authoritarian global organization dominating the United States: the treaty, it suggests, would create a “Climate Change Secretariat” that would “usurp the authority of elected local, state and Federal governments.” The visual basis of the advertisement is an official-looking letter, signed by the “usual suspects” of Cold War geopolitics, the Realist foreign policy elite— Alexander Haig (who promoted oil company investments in China and Turkmenistan), Caspar Weinberger (lobbied for US access to Caspian oil), Richard Cheney (chairman of Halliburton oil company), Lawrence Eagleberger (on the board of Philips Petroleum). The letter sets out the Committee’s anxieties to the President. There is an attempt to highlight liberal Clinton’s weakness at managing the post-Cold War geopolitical environment: “We would still be living with the nuclear nightmare of the Cold War if previous US administrations had pursued arms control negotiations with the Soviets in the same way the climate change negotiations have been conducted by the Clinton administration.” A similar position was articulated in the “Project for the New American Century,” a “non-profit, educational organization” set up in the spring of 1997.67 Their statement of principles concludes by suggesting that “a Reaganite policy of military strength and moral clarity may not be fashionable today.” But it is vital to “increase defense spending significantly” or American foreign policy will remain “adrift”: politicians and intellectuals who signed up to this Realist project, this node in the realist/Realist network, include Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Jeb Bush and Francis Fukayama. The advertisement of the Committee to Preserve American Security and Sovereignty—and the position articulated in the statements of the “Project for the New American Century”—presents Clinton and Gore as the geopolitical utopians, as “soft”, decadent liberals who are out of place in the “hard world” of geopolitics: it is time for the citizenry to listen to the “experts” that have experience in managing geopolitics (because the end of history will be short lived…). This is the Realist perspective translated into a concise and accessible format—or is it the case that the Realism of an intellectual such as Mearsheimer is translating this perspective into an authoritative academic language? One does not have had to have read Mearsheimer to understand the message of these politics of security needs experts that understand the “reality” of power politics, experts that push for an agenda that has secure lines of separation between traditional and non-traditional threats. The advertisement’s “punch line” could have been included in any of the texts that I have argued are part of the realist network: “Kyoto: It’s not just about the environment. It’s about our security and sovereignty.” At the same time, an editorial in The Wall Street Journal suggested that Clinton and Gore were “like members of those lost tribes in a ‘Star Trek’ episode, wandering the galaxy in search of the life force that has gone dry on their own planet—tax.”68

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The web sites run by the Global Climate Coalition offered a more detailed resource: papers contesting the United Nation’s climate science, economic forecasts of mass unemployment. The Global Climate Coalition site contained the briefings that the organization have given to the press. These briefings played on the idea of sovereignty and security being surrendered: on December 9, 1997, William F.O’Keefe, Chairman of the Global Climate Coalition, declared that “[t]his is not an issue of action or inaction but an issue of responsible action that does not turn the American dream into a nightmare.” A few days later he declared that “[f]or the first time in history, the United States would allow a foreign body dominated by developing countries to restrict and control the economy of the United States. UN bureaucrats would decide where business would invest, where jobs will be developed. US Sovereignty has been surrendered.”69 A Realist such as Mearsheimer would not use such emotive images but, at root, this statement expresses the fear that drives the Realist view of global governance: investing securitizing energies in such global projects does little to ameliorate the threat posed by a peer competitor. On January 27, 1998, Gail Macdonald stressed the ability of free markets and the ultimate resource to deal with complex issues such as climate change, observing that, We are fortunate to live in a country that has developed more solutions to complex problems than any country on earth. While the President considers tax breaks to encourage the development of new technologies to combat human influences suspected of causing global warming, we suggest he reconsider this agreement which in the end will turn the clock back for the United States rather than lead it into the 21st century.70 Influential conservative columnists articulated similar views to that of the Global Climate Coalition. Phyllis Schlafly asked, is the “hidden agenda” of the Kyoto negotiation: to promote the presidential candidacy of Al Gore, who has staked his political future on a platform prioritizing the planet above people? or to redistribute US wealth and jobs to foreign countries because the Clintonian liberals support income redistribution? or to con the American people into accepting increased federal taxes, regulations and even rationing? Or, is the answer: to reduce our standard of living because other countries are envious of our automobiles and our single-family dwellings that are heated in winter and cooled in summer? or to save face for the social scientists who have been predicting climate catastrophe? or to provide politically correct “cover” for the multinationals that want to move their plants to low-labor-cost Asian countries? or—All of the above?71 Again, the purpose is to construct the Clintonian liberals and their agenda as a force that will undermine the security of the United States. A web site entitled “Americans’ Speak out” presented itself as a voice for the ordinary Americans that would be affected by the Kyoto agreement. The site included various “front” organizations such as the American Recreation Coalition who declare that:

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Almost every American enjoys some form of outdoor recreation—time spent which yields improved physical and mental health, stronger family and community bonds and better job performance. Recreation often requires durable vehicles with rugged frames, strong suspension, ample cargo space, higher ground clearance, engines with ample torque, good towing capabilities and off-road capabilities. If the trucks, vans and sports utility vehicles so vital to America’s recreation community lose these unique features, as could be the case if mandatory greenhouse gas emissions controls resulted in markedly higher vehicle fuel economy standards, the opportunities and quality of experience for American recreationists would be sorely degraded.72 Similarly, the Recreation Vehicle Industrial Association writes that: Americans love to recreate—it’s a great part of the American lifestyle. Many Americans drive to their favorite beach or campground or national forest in a recreational vehicle which is large enough to be comfortable and accommodate the family. Our members are concerned about mandatory greenhouse gas emissions controls that would raise the price of gasoline and force Americans into smaller lighter vehicles and restrict their ability to enjoy the great outdoors.73 It is doubtful that a Realist would make comments on the threat posed to “mental health” and the ability to enjoy that Great Outdoors. Such observations would be viewed as too political, too domestic: the protection offered by the Realist is concerned with enabling the state to pursue other “aims,” with the world used as a laboratory. But there is an intimate connection between these types of “everyday” observations and the Realist perspective. At root, the Realist elites are concerned with protecting a specific form of economic, political and social organization. It is a perspective that is unwilling to question whether the mode of existence it is protecting—the American lifestyle—inside of the state contributes to insecurity that traverses the line of separation between First-Order and Second-Order problems. The Realist would be unwilling to ask critical questions about the society that is to be defended: such questions are illegitimate, out of place in International Relations. All that matters is that the Realist of International Relations is in time with Realist elites/networks operating behind closed doors: and there is no reason to challenge the techno-optimistic foundations of their project. On the contrary, this techno-optimism must be used by the Realist of International Relations to uphold the line of separation between traditional and non-traditional threats. It does not matter that this “optimistic” position is circulated by networks funded by corporate bodies or that it undermines the presentation of the Realist position as one of tragedy— these tensions can be placed in the footnotes. Now these advertisements and “sound-bites” may appear as rather superficial examples of corporate-funded campaigns to undermine the move toward a non-traditional perspective on security. I have provided examples that may well be ignored by the citizenry or written-off as corporate propaganda—attempts by political and corporate elites to spin a simplistic narrative that protects their interests. The point of this

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discussion is to show how in time the Realist perspective is with the elites that are shaping foreign policy. In this sense, the Realist perspective does describe the reality of Great Power Politics.

Conclusion Mearsheimer is correct when he argues that behind closed doors elites speak the language of power and Realism. It is also the case that elites speak the language of power politics in the public sphere, in moves that attempt to play down the threat of human-generated climate change as a serious problem of foreign policy and security. So the Realist perspective developed by Mearsheimer does appear to be in time with the reality of Great Power Politics. But it is a position characterized by a number of limitations. This Realism is unwilling to think critically about the elites of foreign policy—the commanders of power unequaled in human history, as Mills put it—and the Realist is unwilling to think critically about the techno-optimistic foundations of the politics of security developed by these elites. Mearsheimer is aware of the limitations of the Offensive Realist perspective. He argues that “offensive realism is like a powerful flashlight in a dark room: even though it cannot illuminate every nook and cranny, most of the time it is an excellent tool for navigating through the darkness” (p. 11). It is a “descriptive theory” explaining how “great powers have behaved in the past and how they are likely to behave in the future” (p. 11). There is, he suggests, a “price to pay for simplifying reality” (p. 11). On my reading, the price to pay for “simplifying reality” is the inability to think critically about the hierarchy of traditional and non-traditional threats. The price to pay is that in order to secure this “excellent” intellectual tool—this descriptive theory—one may have to use the same foundations as elites of foreign policy. The price to pay for maintaining the Realist perspective is that it will have to be conditioned by modes of thought that prevent it from asking critical questions about the politics of security and the elites of foreign policy. Realism finds a resting place. From this Realist perspective, the reality of power politics is that powerful actors in international relations work on these “traditional” assumptions so the “rational” course of action is to work with them. In a world of Realist elites we must develop the most effective Realist approach to foreign policy. On this view, the problem with the liberal perspective on foreign policy is that it risks diverting the securitizing energies of the state on to issues that ignore the tragedy of Great Power politics. In the last two chapters I have raised a note of caution about the techno-optimistic foundations of the realist/Realist networks. It is this techno-optimistic position that makes it possible to maintain a line of separation between First-Order and Second-Order problems in the Realist imagination of security. I have suggested that a threat such as human-generated climate change could present serious problems for human and nonhuman existence. There is still uncertainty on how such a threat will impact on the biosphere. It may well be the case that we can find a “technological fix” to solve any problems that emerge; it may also be the case that there is no threat at all. But can we simply ignore the threat, focusing our securitizing energies on traditional threats such as the rise of new peer competitors? It is clear that powerful actors would risk losing

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political and economic power from a strategy that coded climate change as a First-Order problem: this is why networks of realism/Realism have worked to construct climate change as an illegitimate threat. In this sense, the politics of security is governed by a network of actors that seeks to maintain for instrumental ends the line of separation between traditional and non-traditional threats. Yet we could think differently about the politics of security: to do so would leave one out of time, challenging the arguments of some of the most powerful authorities and networks in international relations. From the perspective of an intellectual such as Mearsheimer, the rational position to take is to accept the techno-optimistic view, rejoicing in the intellectual security it affords the Realist, and to accept that the elites that govern the politics of security are going to develop the “traditional” Realist project. Why not simply accept the reality of Great Power Politics and work to make better, more effective traditional Realist arguments? What use is there in challenging the technooptimistic view, the view articulated by the power elites of foreign policy and carboniferous capitalism? This is what is at stake in the discipline of International Relations: do we accept that we live in a Realist world and work on “traditional” problems, knowing that they limit how we think about our insecure planet? Or do we attempt to think out of time, raising a sense of caution and anxiety about the elites/networks of foreign policy and their organized irresponsibility? Do we accept the warning that Carr made about the danger that Realism would become conditioned by modes of thought that limited critical thinking on the politics of security? Mearsheimer has made his decision: the “rational” option is to accept the arguments put forward by think-tanks such as the Cato Institute and the Global Climate Coalition. At root, this is the question that forms the foundation of this book: should intellectual work attempt to think critically about the politics of security or should it raise a sense of anxiety about the projects for securing human and non-human existence? I am going to comment more on this issue in Chapter 5, the conclusion. Now if we take the route into “critical” approaches to International Relations we will be speaking out of time with the elites that make foreign policy. If we accept the traditional perspective, with its intellectual security, in our drive to describe Realist reality, we risk legitimating arguments and projects that may prove to be dangerous for human and non-human existence: we risk legitimating the condition of organized irresponsibility. The desire to describe the world realistically, to be in time with power politics, risks legitimating and providing an aura of authority to arguments—the foundations of the reality of Great Power Politics—that are more insecure than their presentation by the elites and networks of realism/Realism allows. In many ways, the student of International Relations faces the same problem confronted by protagonists in the film, The Matrix. The film tells the story of a young “hacker” who is helped to discover the reality of his existence: the world around him is a virtual reality constructed by machines that need to exploit human bodies for energy. The reality behind the “normal” virtual world is a polluted planet where human beings spend their lives wired into pods. A theme that surfaces throughout The Matrix is this: why not return to the ignorance of the virtual world and forget about the reality of existence? This question is at the core of International Relations. Why not accept the authority of the Realist tradition, a perspective that ultimately rests on optimistic assumptions about the

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threats we face? Why raise uncomfortable questions about the dominant networks and politics of security? Why raise questions on the possibility that the existence that is being protected by the Realist perspective may endanger human and non-human existence? If you take the Realist option you risk supporting the networks of power and organized irresponsibility. But you will exist inside the illusionary security of the matrix. At this point in the argument, it is fair to ask whether it is limiting to focus so much of this discussion on the footnotes of an Offensive Realist author: I want to comment on this. Searching through the book reviews at the online bookstore, Amazon.com, I found that The Tragedy of Great Power Politics had 22 reviews and an average of three and a half stars out of a possible five. Virtuous War: Mapping the Military-Industrial-MediaEntertainment Network by James Der Derian, an exploration of the networks that are transforming contemporary warfare, had one review: Der Derian has been influential in developing a non-Realist perspective on International Relations, building on the work of “Continental” intellectuals such as Paul Virilio and Gilles Deleuze. An academic working in the discipline who has developed similar concerns, David Campbell, has one five-star review on the site for National Deconstruction: Violence, Identity and Justice in Bosnia. The Follies of Globalization Theory by Justin Rosenberg has one five-star review: Rosenberg’s work has developed a critique of Realism based on an exploration of the Marxist tradition. Environmental Security by Simon Dalby, an attempt to develop a critique of traditional perspectives on security from the perspectives of political geography and critical approaches to International Relations, had no reviews one year after its publication. I do not want to read too much into the reviews section of an online bookstore—and I certainly do not want to suggest that there is a link between the quality of academic writing and the number of reviews that an author receives. Yet, it is important to draw attention to the circulation that a book such as The Tragedy of Great Power Politics can have. It may well be a result of more efficient marketing strategies on the part of the publisher (which, to be fair, is understandable given that the book is readable in a way that many texts of International Relations are not). Whatever the reason for the book’s twenty-two reviews, it confirms the need for a critique of “legitimate” and “serious” works of International Relations, books that are constructed as the “realistic” approach to International Relations, books that only the “irrational” and “utopian” would ignore: critical perspectives still exist on the margins and the networks of Realism—with their many strategies for dominating/producing the “reality” of insecurity—continue to occupy pride of place in the discipline, silencing critical perspectives. All this book is suggesting is that we should ask more from our “experts” of security in the discipline because the arguments that an intellectual like Mearsheimer puts forward rest too easily with networks of power and organized irresponsibility. As Bauman suggests, critical approaches to the social sciences need to be concerned with: keeping the forever inexhausted and unfulfilled human potential open, fighting back all attempts to foreclose and pre-empt the further unraveling of human possibilities, prodding human society to go on questioning itself and preventing that questioning from ever stalling or being declared finished.74

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Intellectuals such as John Mearsheimer and front-groups such as the Global Climate Coalition foreclose the unraveling of human possibilities and alternative perspectives on the politics of security. In this sense, this book is concerned with resisting the strategies that seek to limit how we can think differently about security and responsibility. There is too much at stake to leave these (techno-optimistic) concerns in the footnotes of International Relations, circulating in the underworlds of influential texts.

5 Conclusion The duty to visualize the future impact of action (undertaken or not undertaken) means acting under the pressure of acute uncertainty. The moral stance consists precisely in seeing to it that this uncertainty is neither dismissed nor suppressed, but consciously embraced. (Zygmunt Bauman, Postmodern Ethics, 1993)

This book has not set out to develop a “conspiracy theory” of International Relations. It is not my intention to imply that influential Realists such as John Mearsheimer are attempting to limit how we can think differently about global politics for instrumental reasons, developing realist “commonsense” ideas about geopolitics and insecurity to support a power elite. On the contrary, the assumptions upon which a Realist like Mearsheimer builds his politics of security emerge from a serious attempt to make sense of the uncertainty of human existence. The instinct of fear that drives the Realist search for security cannot be reduced to a simple reflection of the interests of powerful economic actors such as Exxon-Mobil: the relationship between the “populist” realism/Realism found in the advertisements of the Global Climate Coalition and Realism in International Relations cannot be reduced to a conspiracy theory worthy of an episode of The X-Files. However, the writings of intellectuals such as Mearsheimer work to legitimate the views of a broader network of realism/Realism outside of the academic discipline of International Relations. As Richard Ashley observed in 1984, Realism “is an ideology that anticipates, legitimizes, and orients a totalitarian project of global proportions: the rationalization of global politics.”1 A Realist such as Mearsheimer can deflect criticism on this point by suggesting that because there are actors outside of academia that share the Realist perspective, this does not mean that Realist perspectives are flawed: there are “transnational discourse coalitions” on environmental issues that share a similar diversity of networks, from intellectuals in the academy through to deterritorialized organizations such as Greenpeace. So it is not sufficient to critique the realist/Realist perspective on the grounds that it is articulated outside of International Relations. On this point the Realist may reply that this is a reflection of the (retrospective) authority and explanatory/practical power of the “traditional” Realist perspective. In response to such a claim it can be argued that while human-generated climate change is a threat characterized by a multitude of uncertainties (taking us into the realm of “known unknowns”) this is exactly why we should take it seriously: such a threat takes us into a condition of insecurity and uncertainty, a condition where there is not the retrospective authority of traditional threats to provide intellectual security (and intellectual security is what the Realist desires, even if it requires

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suppressing non-traditional forms of evidence). Simply put, we do not know what consequences human-generated climate change could have on the future ability of societies to protect and secure themselves. Furthermore, in order to refute the claim that there is a conspiratorial realist/Realist network working to define and limit the legitimate and authoritative politics of security, the Realist may point to the level of disagreement between those who could be described as realist/Realist on the Gulf War in 2003. Mearsheimer, it has been noted, made a persuasive case against the view held by the Bush Administration and the American Enterprise Institute on the need for “preemptive” action in Iraq.2 And his argument on the war in Iraq made good-sense in light of the position developed in The Tragedy of Great Power Politics over the need for caution on issues that are not First-Order problems. Yet while the debate over Iraq proves that the Realist in International Relations is not a “tool” to legitimate power politics, this should not mean we should end this line of inquiry. Actors/nodes in the networks of realism/ Realism may disagree on some points of strategic importance but it is vital to note that there is consensus among these networks on the broader Realist argument developed by intellectuals such as Mearsheimer, a position that rests on the perspectives of Julian Simon and his followers. This technooptimistic perspective, which is articulated by both the Cato Institute and the American Enterprise Institute, holds that there are different categories of uncertainty in international relations, legitimate uncertainty (traditional military threats) and illegitimate uncertainty (non-traditional threats such as climate change). The center that holds this fragile distinction in place is the view that the “ultimate resource” can overcome all ecological problems that technologically advanced societies confront. To sustain this view it is not only necessary to perpetuate the position that climate science is too uncertain and that human civilization can adapt to future problems that arise, it is necessary to code those who take seriously human-generated climate change as utopians, misguided and dangerous intellectuals/radicals/anti-moderns. What we see in the media campaigns of the Global Climate Coalition, the satirical writings of P.J.O’Rourke and the (Offensive) Realism of John Mearsheimer are attempts to focus on the illegitimate “uncertainties” associated with the threat of human-generated climate change, with non-Realists presented as misguided intellectuals who have failed to grasp the “tragedy” of international relations. There may well be different motivations behind these attempts to code climate change as an illegitimate threat. For instance, there are economic actors—drawing on the authority of Realism—who wish to protect their interests for the longest period possible, attempting to discredit the growing scientific consensus on human-generated climate change that pushes for a “precautionary principle.” Others, driven by the instinct of fear that desires the re-attainment of intellectual security, may believe in the perspective advocated by Simon and his followers, the view that the “ultimate resource” will protect human civilization. For the traditional Realist of International Relations, adopting this techno-optimist perspective creates a sense of intellectual coherence and stability: to accept that non-traditional threats may constitute First-Order problems is threatening to the (intellectual) security of the Realist perspective, a perspective that builds itself on the retrospective authority of military insecurity focused on Great Power Politics. What this book has sought to illustrate is that we need to ask more from the “experts” of security in International Relations. If the discipline is to develop an alternative to

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organized irresponsibility then it is important that we begin to think critically about the foundations that lurk beneath influential ideas that circulate in this intellectual space. Indeed, this is the project that has been intensifying over the past decades in the discipline, a development that has, for the most part, been ignored by the Realist perspective: as C.Wright Mills suggests, cliques that are “small and considered unimportant can in due course be expected by leading cliques to go out of business.”3 It has been safer to build “new and improved” formations of Realism, as Mearsheimer does in The Tragedy of Great Power Politics, and ignore the critical perspectives that have emerged from a variety of intellectual traditions/scientific debates—or to limit debate using the type of strategies used in Mearsheimer’s book. These critical perspectives have been well documented in an alternative literature that has emerged in the underworlds of International Relations, those places where the “immature” (or “irresponsible”) intellectuals explore the possibilities for global responsibility and human/environmental security in a manner that supposedly ignores the “fundamental truths” of international relations, the tragedy of Great Power Politics. It is not my intention to explore the critical work that has emerged on Realism over the past few decades, works that inform this investigation and writings and range from Marxist-inspired critiques of Realism, rich in historical analysis, through to examinations of the philosophical assumptions of (in)security politics from the perspective of Continental thought. This book, which has developed through a discussion of Mearsheimer’s footnotes, is very much a footnote to these broader critiques of Realism.4 At the same time, even in the critical sectors that have emerged inside and outside the discipline there has been a tendency to focus on more “immediate” problems of insecurity and suffering. One of the most controversial and widely discussed explorations of global culture, politics and economy—Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri’s Empire—contains virtually no discussion of ecological problems.5 Empire is the anti-The Tragedy of Great Power Politics, a vast and sprawling book that is a warning about current modes of organized irresponsibility and their impact on the possibilities for freedom and security. Accordingly, a future exploration of International Relations may well have to investigate the underlying assumptions of diverse critical theories to see what techno-optimistic foundations circulate in the underworlds of these perspectives. It may be the case that there are points of connection between perspectives on global politics that appear on the surface to be opposed—and bringing these assumptions to the surface may help clarify what is at stake in the debates that are emerging on the “next stage” of International Relations theory. At root, this book is attempting to show how issues that remain in the underworlds of arguments made in International Relations need to be brought into the open. It is through exploring the strategies that seek to limit dialogue on the politics of security inside International Relations that we can begin to explore the problems of organized irresponsibility in the spaces of insecurity, the spaces that the networks of realism/Realism wish to ignore and distance themselves from. If the techno-optimistic foundations in works such as The Tragedy of Great Power Politics remain undisturbed then we do not need to think critically about the (in)actions of Exxon-Mobil and the Global Climate Coalition: they are simply rational agents attempting to protect us from the forces of irrationalism and insecurity. Here, it is worth returning to the point made by E.H.Carr in one of the “foundational” texts of Realist International Relations. Carr warned that there can be no resting place in “pure” realism as this perspective on

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International Relations “often turns out in practice to be just as much conditioned as any other mode of thought. In politics, the belief that certain facts are unalterable or certain trends irresistible commonly reflects a lack of desire or lack of interest to change or resist them.” But resist them we must. In this sense, this book has attempted to illustrate the ethico-political dangers that arise when the politics of security finds a resting place, a resting place conditioned by other modes of thought, modes of thought that are inattentive to the dangers and opportunities of global existence.

The seductive illusions of Realism An important weapon in the strategies of the realist/Realist network involves attempts to use fear to limit the search for alternative forms of protection. The use of fear involves suggesting that to begin to think about how to protect and secure global existence differently will result in new formations of insecurity and uncertainty, leaving the Great Power—and individuals searching for the “good life” in the tame zones—unable to maintain strategies of protection. From an alternative perspective, Zygmunt Bauman argues that moral anxiety is the “only substance that the moral self could ever have… One recognizes morality by its gnawing sense of unfulfilledness, by its endemic dissatisfaction with itself.”6 So rather than search for the re-attainment of moral/intellectual security—the view that there is no alternative to the world as it is and, consequently, no possibilities for living differently— critical intellectuals, according to Bauman, need to cultivate moral anxiety on the strategies for securing that are constructed as normal, legitimate and inevitable: “Notseeing, not-seeking and thereby suppressing this possibility is itself part of human misery and a major factor in its perpetuation.”7 In this book we have begun to see how networks of realism/Realism work to limit anxiety about the condition of organized irresponsibility, limiting the search for alternative ways of living and securing through a double movement that involves the use of fear coupled with techno-optimism. It is preferable for those in the tame zones to accept the views put forward by the Cato Institute and Mearsheimer, secure in the knowledge that the tragedy of Great Power Politics can be managed with good geopolitical sense and technological advancement/adaptation. On my reading, there is a sense of moral security to be found in internalizing the perspectives of the Realist tradition. The Realist perspective may raise uncomfortable questions about human nature and geopolitical anarchy but it creates a sense of moral security regarding our modes of consumption and development, our projects for securing society. And contrary to the view that the Realist is out of time, to be a Realist is to be in time with the most powerful actors in the world; it is a perspective that is found in a variety of spaces—in Hollywood films, newspaper editorials, academic texts—creating a strategy of normalization on the supposedly legitimate and rational approaches to the politics of security.8 What is more, a Realist can draw on a tradition of influential texts to sustain this perspective on the world, providing a sense of building on solid intellectual/scientific foundations. For all the emphasis on the “tragedy” of Great Power Politics, there is a sense of comfort to be found in Realism, a comfort that emerges from the view that we can ignore non-traditional threats such as human-generated climate

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change for the time being, leaving them as (at most) Second-Order problems. So rather than existing in a condition of moral anxiety about the impacts that existence in the tame zones may have on distant communities and future generations, one can focus on developing strategies of protection to keep those outside your territory, in the wild zones of global politics, at a safe distance. But this perspective is not simply about attempting to maintain physical separation from the sources of insecurity and uncertainty that technologically advanced societies create and encounter: internalizing the Realist perspective allows you to keep a moral distance from the suffering and insecurity that results from the normal and rational practices of economy and security. If one is not fortunate to be “hardwired” as a Realist at birth then one can work on internalizing Realist (in)security politics. Indeed, I could feel the seductiveness of the realist/Realist perspective as the lines of inquiry developed in this book unfolded. I could feel the attraction of internalizing the arguments of the realist/Realist networks of power and authority. As I have suggested, not only is it the case that Realism offers a sense of intellectual authority and tradition, a secure foundation from which to think about International Relations, but internalizing the foundational assumptions of the Realist perspective means that one is, broadly speaking, in time with a network of powerful actors. You can attain a sense of security through accepting the optimistic view put forward by the Cato Institute or Exxon-Mobil, a moral security in knowing that we can continue “business as usual,” that the agents of organized irresponsibility may actually be responsible. There is, in this sense, an existential security against the terror of uncertainty and fear to be found in the view that things are “getting better all the time”, to use the title of one of Simon’s books, and that the experts and authorities governing the world we live in are in control. My sense here is that there is security to be found in the view that the deterritorialized gods of Security and Economy that operate in the political and economic spaces above us are developing a world of organized responsibility. From this perspective, internalizing the Realist perspective can act as a “moral sleeping pill,” to use a term from Bauman’s studies on the social production of moral indifference, a means for an individual or community to distance themselves from the consequences of their actions. This is a theme I am going to return to. As I argued in Chapter 3, the separation of traditional and non-traditional threats is made possible by retreating into the techno-optimistic views of Simon and his followers, the view that human beings can adapt to—and technologically fix—the problems that may arise from human-generated climate change. The line of separation between FirstOrder and Second-Order problems rests on a foundation that makes us confront the “tragedy” of both the human condition and Great Power Politics at the same time as it limits what we need to feel anxious about. It is in this sense that it can be argued that Realism offers comforting illusions in a world characterized by many formations of insecurity, uncertainty, trauma and suffering. To live with moral anxiety is to feel a sense of discomfort and insecurity, a recognition that human (and non-human) suffering around the planet cannot be placed into the safe category of a Second-Order problem. Even this “technical” and “rational” language of First-Order and Second-Order problems creates a moral distance between the secure and the insecure, a distance between the tame zones of affluence and a biosphere that is being treated as an object of consumer desire. To take seriously the writings of intellectuals such as Paul Virilio or Zygmunt Bauman,

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intellectuals who attempt to cultivate moral anxiety about our technological projects for control, security, order and protection, is to feel out of time, to feel the anxiety that the rational guardians of security and development may be acting irresponsibly, whether it is in the waging of network-centric war, the disruption of a global environmental accord, through to new economic policies designed to make states and individuals more efficient. It is not surprising that the cover of Bauman’s In Search of Politics depicts an old man sitting alone in what looks like an empty train station (images of the desert are used on the covers of two of Bauman’s other books). We do not know why he is sitting alone but the picture conveys what it feels like to refuse the moral security offered by the networks of realism/Realism. Simply put, this Realist sense of moral security is built on the view that we can continue business as usual in a world where our technological advancement has yet to ameliorate the suffering of those who have not made it to a “good life” promised by the tame zones. From this perspective, Great Power Politics will always hold the potential for danger and insecurity. Yet this tragic condition is countered by the promise of an optimistic future as regards problems that emerge from non-traditional sources.

Strategies of fear: the consumption of protection and the protection of consumption The strategies deployed by the networks of realism/Realism tell us that we do not need to worry about these illegitimate sources of uncertainty and insecurity: there is no “rational” alternative to the (in)security politics of Realism. What is more, the Realist perspective tells us that there is nothing that we could do about these non-traditional threats even if we wanted to, as they involve moving toward cosmopolitan conceptions of global governance and global moral responsibility. According to the Realist perspective, such an ethico-political transformation would undermine the ability of the United States to secure itself. The strategies mentioned in this book—such as the articulation of Mearsheimer’s hierarchy of First-Order and Second-Order problems and the campaigns of front-groups funded by the interests of carboniferous capitalism—tell us that there is no way of living differently. The strategies deployed by the network are concerned with securing and protecting a particular mode of existence (and those who benefit from that existence). Realism legitimates contemporary modes of existence as they are, supporting the view that to attempt to live differently may lead to more acute levels of insecurity. We have seen that front-groups and think-tanks worked to code climate change as an illegitimate threat, attempting to limit any anxiety from entering our moral/security imaginations. It has been suggested here that in order to secure the politics of security, it is necessary to produce a geopolitical danger as a legitimate, First-Order source of insecurity: the uncertainties make a dynamic response shaped by a “worst-case” scenario a security imperative. At the same time, it is necessary to construct other dangers as illegitimate threats in such a way that it appears “normal” and “rational” to leave them as (at most) Second-Order problems. Both strategies are equally as important if the line of separation between traditional and non-traditional threats is to hold. For it to be possible to construct Saddam Hussein and his “weapons of mass destruction” as a First-Order problem for the United States it was necessary to implement strategies of fear based on the presentation

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of alarming “evidence” of an immediate threat; similarly, a strategy of fear has been developed to play down non-traditional threats such as climate change. These strategies are vital if hierarchies of security are to be secure, rational and stable. Yet as this book has argued, there is nothing inevitable about these constructions of First-Order and Second-Order problems, traditional and non-traditional threats. As Mearsheimer argued, there could have been alternative strategies implemented to manage any threat posed by Iraq’s “weapons of mass destruction.” Mearsheimer’s plan for slowing down the rise of China is by no means the only politics of security for the United States in the twenty-first century. So in order to secure these visions of security it is necessary to construct a threat such as climate change as illegitimate, either through suggesting that it is too uncertain or that it can be managed by technologically advanced societies. The threat of human-generated climate change is a case in point where the scientific uncertainty and temporal distance—the threat seems distant both in time and space for those searching for security in the tame zones—that is potentially involved means that the task of constructing it as an illegitimate threat is relatively easy compared to the fear of weapons of mass destruction or a totalitarian superpower, threats with a visceral, immediate power, supported by the retrospective authority of the Realist perspective on international relations. When climate change does emerge into the popular consciousness it is as science “fiction”, spectacles of climate change-induced destruction like those seen in the film The Day After Tomorrow that we can enjoy from the safe space of the cinema. In addition, dealing with traditional threats fits into the projects of broader militaryscientific networks; responding to the threat of human-generated climate change involves disrupting the strategies of powerful actors in the fossil fuel economy. Outside the Realist perspective it may well be the case that the threats are selected for the political currency they can generate. Sovereignty, and territorial borders, becomes a space where politicians can prove their potency. To illustrate vitality, power and authority, wars against drug cartels, wars against rogue/failed states supporting terrorist networks, repressive measures against illegal immigrants, provide politicians with an image of control in territories that are increasingly subject to deterritorialized risks that are beyond the control of any one state or international organization. Governments in the tame zones, Bauman suggests, cannot honestly promise their citizens a secure existence and a certain future; but they may for the time being unload at least a part of the accumulated anxiety (and even profit from it electorally) by demonstrating their energy and determination in the war against foreign job-seekers and other alien gate-crashers, intruders into the clean and quiet, orderly and familiar, native backyards.9 Through the construction of visceral and immediate threats it is possible to give the impression of managing uncertain and insecure environments. At the same time, discourses of danger (such as anxiety over asylum seekers, wars on drugs and terror) deflect attention away from sources of uncertainty, the internal contradictions of the society of security, that are constructed as being too difficult to respond to (such as the uncertainty and insecurity of poverty and flexible employment, ecological risks such as

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human-generated climate change)—or as not real problems at all: these are legitimate risks that are necessary if the search for security and progress is to proceed effectively. It is far easier to develop a politics of security that is involved in securing existence in the tame zones—such as securing access for resources that maintain mobile and consumer lifestyles—than it is to develop strategies that may call for different modes of existence inside the tame zones, alternatives that may disturb powerful actors who benefit from the condition of organized irresponsibility. William Connolly argues that an important dynamic in conservative fundamentalism in the United States is to make the damaging consequences of the neo-liberal consumer society and the military-scientific complex look like the product of liberalism, welfare freeloaders, feminism and gay movements, developing states, and so on: “You thus install a circulation of symbols and affects that conceals your own contribution to the decline that you decry and project their causes onto programs and groups that already threaten the identity of your key constituency.”10 As I argued in Chapter 4, the Global Climate Coalition and other actors in the realist/Realist network suggest that the uncertainty and insecurity of existence is partly attributable to jobs being lost to “developing” countries. Furthermore, the realist/Realist network purports to represent economic interests as if they had a “special” patriotic allegiance to the American worker, as if they are the “responsible” agents that are concerned to protect communities in the United States from the damaging consequences of the global economy. From this perspective, the interests of the citizenry and economic interests are constructed as identical because they appear to inhabit the same sovereign space. Yet these corporations that have been part of the network are as much a part of the deterritorialized economy as “cosmopolitan” CNN is. They are pursuing the same strategies of capital accumulation and are employing the same tactics to maximize their profitable strategies (Exxon and Mobil are now Exxon-Mobil, merging to create a more lean and efficient corporate entity). Corporate Watch report that Bureau of Labor statistics calculate that between 1990–6 oil and gas extraction lost 76,000 jobs. Between 1997–9, 52,000 jobs (15 percent of the workforce) were lost in oil and gas production. BP’s purchase of Amoco cost 2,000 jobs net.11 The Exxon-Mobil merger involved 9,000 redundancies and Exxon has been cutting jobs at a rate of 4 percent annually for over a decade. So by cultivating resistance and fear in a few important states through appeals to the protection of sovereignty and security, the oil industry is able to safeguard its worldwide network of production and consumption. The campaign to play down the threat of climate change (including both the newspaper and television advertisements) stressed the burden on the consumer that the realization of the Kyoto negotiations could have. But the representation of authoritarian global institutions silences the fact that the American consumer is subsidizing the economic activities of the large energy companies to the tune of more than $18 billion a year, providing tax breaks for exploration, production and foreign royalties. Tax breaks benefiting oil exploration and production reduced oil industry tax payments by between $1.1–4.3 billion in 1995. The United Nations has estimated that $300 billion of taxpayer’s money has been used worldwide in the last twenty years to support fossil fuel and energy industries: environmental companies supporting alternative energies, like solar power, have received $15 billion. The management of a geopolitical environment where there is sufficient order for these practices to continue costs an estimated $57

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billion per year.12 Ironically, as the Kyoto negotiations were being debated in the press, The Wall Street Journal included a report on the release of a paper published by the Congressionally mandated National Defense Panel entitled “Transforming Defense: National Security in the 21st Century.” The report suggested that the United States’ military had been too concerned with the potential of simultaneous conflicts, ignoring the possibility of large-scale terrorist attacks on American soil and the problems that could emerge as “the oil resources of Central Asia become more important to the world economy.”13 My reading configures the Realist politics of (in)security as a strategy concerned with protecting a specific mode of existence. As Virilio has observed, the “minimal state” of neo-liberalism needs to create a “permanent feeling of insecurity which will lead to a new kind of consumption: the consumption of protection.”14 But it is not just that this society of security creates a feeling of insecurity to justify the consumption of protection. The logic behind the position of the realist/Realist network is that any forms of insecurity that emerge from a threat such as human-generated climate change will be managed through the consumption of protection by individuals, communities and states. On this view, a dynamic global economy that creates threats—the unintended consequences of technological advancement—such as human-generated climate change will be able to create technological fixes, strategies of adaptation that will provide the reattainment of security. For example, in an article titled “Supermicrobe Man” published in Wired, we are informed of the latest venture from Craig Venter: “First Craig Venter cracked the Human Genome. Now he wants to sequence the ocean and save the planet.” Venter made a name for himself after he promised to sequence the human genome faster than a government team that had an 8-year head start and $3 billion in federal money. Using venture capital, he managed to deliver the sequence in 3 years, becoming rich through his development of “shotgun sequencing.” In 2002 he launched the Institute for Biological Energy Alternatives, where he is attempting to use shotgun sequencing to engineer “supermicrobes” that will scrub carbon dioxide emissions, converting them to clean air: “Take a breath: Venter plans to crank out 100 million sequences a year.”15 From the marketing of the SUV, the construction of gated communities, to strategies of surveillance to fight terrorism, contemporary society is concerned with protecting existence in the tame zones, a practice that involves costly strategies of security. As it has already been suggested, this condition of fear and insecurity makes it increasingly difficult to imagine alternative ways of living because a “non-traditional” security politics is constructed as the route to even more acute levels of insecurity, the undermining of economic and military vitality. However, intellectuals concerned with ecopolitics and critical social theory have been attempting to open up spaces where it becomes possible to explore more fundamental questions about the society that is being protected and the strategies designed to secure existence inside sovereign territory. In the writings of intellectuals such as Zygmunt Bauman, Ulrich Beck, Simon Dalby, Michael Dillon, David Harvey and Timothy Luke, intellectuals that work outside the discipline of International Relations, or on the borderlines of the discipline, we see attempts to question whether the strategies of security secure, but also whether this traditional approach actually perpetuates and produces insecurity for large sectors of humanity, both inside and outside the “developed” spaces of international relations. All this is not to suggest a nihilistic

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position, that we should simply give up securing society, allowing it to implode. What these critical perspectives suggest is that not only do the legitimate strategies of protection and economy provide security for a minority around the planet but questions about the possibilities for responding to the insecurity of existence in a broader sense are silenced, constructed as illegitimate or irrational. The Realist sees no value in asking critical questions about the society of security and the protection of consumption (for reasons that should be apparent by now): their only concern is with devising strategies of protection. In short, from this critical perspective, openness to moral anxiety prompts questions on whether the existence inside the society of security, the modes of existence that are being protected, is creating new forms of global insecurity and uncertainty. This critical perspective, a perspective that the network attempts to construct as illegitimate, begins to contest modes of existence that are presented as legitimate and rational, thinking about the uncertainty and insecurity of human existence from a perspective of moral anxiety about the society of security. Here, rethinking the politics of security from outside the perspectives of the realist/Realist network involves pointing to the sources of insecurity that appear to be “inevitable” risks of existence in the tame zones. It involves pointing to connections between, for example, car culture and the immediate forms of insecurity that result from automobile accidents, through to the broader geopolitical/environmental consequences that may result from the protection of car culture, the risks that appear distant, both spatially and temporally. As Simon Dalby, writing from the perspective of a critical geopolitics on Political Geography and International Relations, observes: the automobile, sold as the provider of a “little security in an insecure world” is a source of very considerable insecurity. This is especially so because, in a richly ironic reprise of the international relations literature on security dilemmas, these large “secure” vehicles are likely to do more damage to other vehicles and their occupants in a collision and likely to get into more accidents because of driver overconfidence derived from precisely those feelings of security. This emphasizes the point that security is a political act. In terms of the political specifications of danger, the numbers killed in domestic violence and vehicle accidents are apparently very much less important than the cultural codings of spaces and technologies in terms of safety and danger.16 From the Realist perspective, constructing the automobile as a source of danger and insecurity would be seen as an illegitimate concern for the discipline of International Relations (an argument put forward by those who have a moral distaste for the consumer existence that the Realist seeks to protect). The Realist perspective is concerned with protecting existence in the tame zones without exploring the question of whether the mode of existence that is being protected contributes to the condition of global insecurity and uncertainty. And so it is unlikely that the Realist will include discussion of the dangers to human existence from the automobile. Nor would the Realist take seriously the point that cars promote sedentary lifestyles that contain less obvious risks to health and security: for example, replacing the short trips to the local mega(machine)-store that could have been made on bicycle or on foot and lessen the risk of coronary heart disease,

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obesity and hypertension.17 Car dependency is also characterized by social inequalities: one third of the population of the United States is either too young, too old or too poor to drive. In Boston, for instance, 98 percent of welfare recipients live within walking distance of public transport but only 32 percent of potential employers are close to a transit station.18 It has been reported that during the first nine months of 2003 road accidents killed 75,841 people in China: car sales in China jumped 60 percent in 2002, a sale of 1.2 million automobiles, making China the world’s major car market.19 The Realist perspective will suggest that these are the legitimate risks and problems of normal, developed existence, issues that should be managed by local governments and city planners—they are not the concern of security “experts.” Again, they will most likely argue that the insecurity that emerges from car culture is insignificant compared to the threat posed by a peer-competitor armed with weapons of mass destruction. Yet what critical perspectives on security draw attention to is the way in which insecurity traverses the line of separation between First-Order and Second-Order problems, the domestic and the international, legitimate insecurity and illegitimate insecurity—the type of argument developed by Michael Klare’s Resource Wars: The New Landscape of Global Conflict. We could take Dalby’s observations about these “secure” vehicles—and the sense of driver overconfidence—to argue that there is an intimate connection between the Realist perspective and the cultural construction of an automobile such as the SUV: they both promise the development of a secure machine, a shield against the insecurity of the outside world, a strategy to separate oneself, family and the state from the dangers of modern existence, the wild zones that appear as an inevitable consequence of advanced capitalism and geopolitical anarchy. This is a crucial theme in a debate that has erupted in the United States over the broader ecological/ geopolitical security issues related to the SUV, with campaigns labeling them the “axles of evil,” campaigns that draw out the broader implications of secure machines for security. In response, a number of groups have emerged that use similar arguments to that used by front groups such as the Global Climate Coalition. Indeed, a threat to the SUV is constructed as a threat to the security and identity of the United States, a threat to a vehicle celebrated by media stars such as Arnold Schwarzenegger (who apparently owns five) and Sean “Puffy” Combs, who has designed the Sean John Lincoln Navigator, packed with six television screens and four DVD players. The communications director of the SUV Owners of America says that if an environmentalist touched his SUV, he would “hire a private investigator, track that animal down and get them put in gaol for defacement of public property.”20 The desire for these secure machines silences anxieties about the broader forms of insecurity that their strategies for security may lead to. This politics of security suggests that in an insecure world the only rational strategy of protection is to maintain distance, both moral and physical, from dangerous environments. The moral anxiety cultivated by the critical perspective suggests that this approach to security limits not only our strategies for protecting human existence but has damaging consequences for the bonds of sociality in society. The environments we exist in become spaces of insecurity and fear where the only strategy of protection is to obtain increasingly powerful technologies to distance ourselves from the wild zones that seem to be inevitable and inescapable. These perspectives on (in)security begin to explore how we could begin to live differently, to live outside of secure machines like the SUV, the gated community and the Realist society of security and fear. In his inaugural lecture at the London School of

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Economics, early in 2000, Richard Sennett argued that the move away from the Weberian pyramid of work and bureaucracy to the flexible workplace based around short-term projects and contracts is having destructive impacts on the (post)modern city. Sennett contends that cities once held the potential to develop as spaces of community and dialogue, rather than spaces of fear. In a culture based on flexible work and consumer desire, the possibilities for more “universal” imaginations of security and responsibility toward other human beings becomes increasingly difficult to cultivate. Writing about the standardized environments of the global network of consumption, he writes that: It is hard to become attached to a particular Gap or Banana Republic; standardization begets indifference. Put another way: the problem of institutional loyalty in the workplace, now beginning to sober up managers once blindly enthusiastic about endless corporate reengineering, finds its parallel in the urban public realm of consumption; attachment and engagement with specific places is dispelled under the aegis of the new regime. Cities cease to offer the strange, the unexpected or the arousing. Equally, the accumulation of shared history, and so of collective memory, diminishes in these neutral public spaces. Standardized consumption attacks local meanings in the same way that the new workplace attacks ingrown, shared histories among workers.21 The bonds of sociality are disrupted in these spaces of standardized consumption and secure machines, leading to what Virilio describes as “the degradation of the physical proximity of beings.”22 Yet it is not just that these flexible environments fracture the bonds of human solidarity. Sennett suggests that the power elites of contemporary capitalism operate in a way that is built on a moral/spatial distance from the worlds that they shape, arguing that the new global elites avoid the urban political realm, wanting to operate in the global city but not rule it, composing a “regime of power without responsibility.”23 Sennett points out that in Chicago in 1925 political and economic power were coextensive, with presidents of the city’s top 80 corporations sitting on 142 hospital boards, and accounting for 70 percent of the trustees of colleges and universities. On top of this, the tax revenues from 18 national corporations formed 23 percent of the city’s municipal budget. In the era of flexible capitalism, there is very little engagement by chief executives in the running of the city and “footloose companies,” such as Rupert Murdoch’s News Group, manage to avoid paying taxes, local or national. The global economy is no longer rooted in the city: it is, Sennett suggests, “an Island economy— literally so within the island of Manhattan in New York; architecturally so in places such as Canary Wharf, which resemble the imperial compounds of an earlier era.”24 Just as the networks of the fossil fuel economy act without responsibility for distant communities and future generations, so the “globals” of flexible capitalism act without responsibility for the communities that support their economic strategies, maintaining a moral distance from those in the spaces below them. Sennett concludes that we have to create cities that are not based on indifference and irresponsibility: this is not only an architectural problem, and a problem of how to create alternative spaces of community and responsibility, but also involves making deterritorialized interests more accountable to the environments they cultivate. It also

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involves responding to the sense of uncertainty and stress that surrounds flexible capitalism and urban environments: We need to overlay different activities in the same space. The incompleteness of capitalist time returns us to the issue that marked the very emergence of the industrial city, a city that broke apart the domus— that spatial relation which had, before the coming of industrial capitalism, combined family, work, ceremonial public spaces and more informal social spaces.25 This project involves, in the words of Sennett, attempting to “repair the collectivity of space to combat the serial time of modern labour.”26 Movements such as Reclaim the Streets, and similar groups influenced by the ideas of the Situationists, are attempting to articulate this type of vision, making clear the ecological ramifications of urban living in cities around the planet.27 This task of creating new forms of living that are based on the collectivity of space and a new conception of security will be constructed as irrational and utopian by the realist/Realist network. But we have to question the strategies that seek to sustain what is legitimate/illegitimate and realist/utopian. Put bluntly, are the strategies for securing society—such as Mearsheimer’s project for dealing with China— so secure that any other projects for securing society are illegitimate? What I have tried to do here is introduce some concerns that exist outside the legitimate security imagination, drawing out a few lines of connection between seemingly disparate issues, such as the connections between “immediate” sources of insecurity and potentially distant threats for the biosphere and future generations. They are just a brief introduction to concerns that an alternative security politics may begin to explore. These concerns may appear absurd in a work that is discussing the politics of security in International Relations. But as I have begun to argue, there are lines of connection between the local and the global, the SUV/city and broader issues of global responsibility and community, lines of connection that point to an alternative non-traditional politics of security. This discussion has focused on the politics of security from the perspective of those living in the tame zones. The network of realism/Realism is focused on the protection of existence in Great Powers: the insecurity and uncertainty of existence outside the tame zones is of little concern to the realist/Realist network. The techno-optimism of the broader Realist network is built on the assumption that a dynamic global economy will provide a more secure and healthy existence for more and more communities around the planet. States that make the most of the opportunities of “globalization” will be able to enjoy the consumption of protection, protection against any risks that emerge from the transformation to more “advanced” forms of security and economy. And the brief comments that I have made about the SUV and the possibilities for re-imagining urban existence have focused on “developed” spaces. Yet when we begin to challenge the foundations of the hierarchy of First-Order and Second-Order problems, alternative ways of understanding the connections between a multitude of insecurities begins to unfold, connections that traverse the lines of separation between First-Order/Second-Order problems, the tame zones/wild zones. Carboniferous capitalism has yet to make existence more secure for those outside of the tame zones. Current modes of development may lead to a more secure existence for those who will be able to afford the consumption of

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protection. However, viewed from a different optic of security, we can see that there are immediate sources of insecurity that emerge from current modes of development for those existing on the margins of global existence. There have been a number of cases in recent years where the protection of carboniferous capitalism has appeared to result in acts of organized irresponsibility for “distant” communities around the planet. For example, in 2002 the International Labor Rights Fund accused Exxon-Mobil of failing to prevent human rights abuses near a natural gas plant in Aceh, a conflict-ridden province of Indonesia. Exxon-Mobil denied liability, pointing out that while the corporation runs the plant in Aceh, it is owned by the Indonesian government, which is responsible for providing “security.” The lawsuit was filed under the Alien Tort Statute, which enables alleged victims of human rights abuses perpetrated in other countries to file in courts in the United States. The State Department responded by arguing that the lawsuit could have negative consequences on the strategic interests of the United States, placing limits on the ability to wage the “War on Terror,” a war in which Indonesia was viewed as an important ally. It was also argued that there could be negative consequences for firms “bidding on contracts in extractives and other industries,” warning that Chinese oil companies may take advantage of existing projects.28 In Burma there have been accusations that the military began clearing land and enslaving local inhabitants after oil companies such as Unocal initiated negotiations with the government to build a $1.2 billion project in 1990. It is alleged that hundreds of villagers were driven from their homes and farms and forced to work at gunpoint to prepare for construction of the pipeline. Led by French oil company Total, now mutated into TotalFinaElf, a consortium of interests entered into a joint venture with the Burmese government around 1995 to transport vast quantities of natural gas from the offshore Yadana field in the Andamen Sea through a pipeline that would travel east to Thailand. The pipeline had to pass through Tenasserim, a region whose ethnic groups opposed military rule. Because its agreement with the companies required the Burmese to protect the pipeline from sabotage, the government increased its military presence along the 39mile stretch. According to the testimony from villagers, many were forced into work— cutting down trees, digging out stumps, building barracks and helipads—and were regularly beaten by guards. To provide some moral proximity to the events, events that exist outside the realist/Realist optic and moral imagination: One woman said soldiers came to her home as she was cooking over an open fire. When her husband attempted to flee, they shot him and shoved her and her baby into the flames, killing the baby and leaving her with disabling scars. Others described seeing their neighbors executed when they refused to leave their homes. Many who joined forced-work details collapsed from exhaustion or disease after weeks of toiling under a scorching sun with little food or water. Two girls said they were raped by soldiers at knifepoint.29 Some of the helipads that were built by the villagers were allegedly used by the Unocal officials when they came to inspect the project’s progress. The case is also based on the Alien Tort Statute, with the villagers arguing that Unocal has a responsibility for what

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occurred. As Mark Duffield outlines in a discussion of the corporate consumption of protection, there are a number of private security companies that operate at the international level, companies such as Defense Services Limited (DSL) and the Control Risks Group: DSL provided logistical support for the United Nation’s operations in Yugoslavia and has been involved in various oilfield security projects. In Colombia during the mid-1990s, DSL was involved, through a local subsidiary, in coordinating, with the Colombian army and police, the defense of BP’s oil infrastructure and personnel.30 This resulted in charges of complicity following cases of human rights abuses by the Colombian authorities: BP builds its corporate image on being Beyond Petroleum, an agent of organized responsibility and global moral responsibility. The consumption of protection by the networks of carboniferous capitalism often depends on practices that appear to exacerbate forms of insecurity that the inhabitants in the tame zones may wish to ignore, kept at a safe distance through a moral security that rests on a view that there is a hierarchy of problems that makes deterritorialized responsibility for distant Others difficult (such as the War on Terror constructed as the First-Order problem of security)—or maintained on the position that existence in these wild zones will be insecure regardless of the activities of Exxon-Mobil or Unocal. In a discussion of the immediate sources of insecurity that result from carboniferous capitalism, such as the destruction of Ogoniland in Nigeria and various areas in Colombia through oil exploration and extraction, Dalby comments that the “threats of mass suicide by the U’wa people in the face of the Shell corporation’s development of oil fields in Colombia is just a high-profile demonstration of the current politics of enclosure and displacement that is the consequence of the growing automobile-driven urban footprint.”31 The realist/Realist network can reply that these are just fragmented examples of “minor” incidents. From the perspective of the tame zone, it is easy to maintain indifference to the insecurity and suffering of those victims of carboniferous capitalism: these are the necessary evils on the route to civility and progress. To be sure, the move away from carboniferous capitalism will not create a secure planet where there is no suffering and insecurity for human and non-human existence. But it does appear that these networks contribute to many different types of insecurity, from the immediate impacts on local communities through to the supposedly distant, long-term ecological dangers, dangers that may threaten the possibilities for human and non-human existence in a manner similar to weapons of mass destruction. Rethinking security and the constructions of legitimate/ illegitimate threats, realism/utopianism, can open up new points of connection between apparently disparate “security” issues. Resisting the hierarchy of First-Order and Second-Order problems means that we can begin to take seriously the idea that there may be alternative strategies of security, strategies that traverse the traditional conceptions of security and moral space. In The Hydrogen Economy: The Creation of the Worldwide Energy Web and the Redistribution of Power on Earth, Jeremy Rifkin sets out some of the strategies that could enable human beings to create an ecologically sustainable energy “web” that could “democratize energy and empower every human being on Earth.”32 Renewable energy sources that could have the potential to be distributed cheaply around the planet would be able to improve the conditions of the one-third of the human race that has no access to electricity or any other form of commercial energy. To be sure, it would require great levels of technological innovation and political force but—in a world where a Great Power is intent on

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developing Star Wars defense technology—it is by no means “utopian,” although such a project would have serious implications for the networks that currently control the global energy economy. What we begin to see here is that the strategies of fear/techno-optimism produced by the realist/Realist networks silence anxieties pertaining to our current modes of development and technological “advancement.” In addition, these perspectives rest on a sense of moral indifference to the suffering and insecurity of distant Others, to future generations and the biosphere, insecurity that results from supposedly rational and realistic strategies of security. Yet if we begin to think beyond the secure machines offered by Realism—and the SUV culture—it becomes possible to see how alternative formations of responsibility and security could be possible, alternatives that resist the view that moral and spatial distance from the world is the only legitimate/realistic way of existing and protecting, strategies that resist the moral security that limits the search for alternative ways of living responsibly and securely.

Concluding remarks At this point in the Conclusion it would be reasonable to suggest that the focus on Offensive Realism—and the development of an argument out of the discussion of Mearsheimer’s footnotes—is somewhat limited. After all, there are a number of other legitimate and influential approaches to International Relations, approaches that depart from Realism to focus on the problems of existence in an International Society. What I have tried to do in this book is show how a seemingly insignificant moment in a work of International Relations is far more important than it may first appear. In this sense, I have attempted to connect strategies for limiting how we think about security in International Relations with broader networks of power in global politics. Yet, if it was simply the case that Mearsheimer’s book was a peculiarity, an isolated case of a Realist attempt to maintain the coherence of the tradition, then the book would be limited to an investigation of the “uncertainties” contained inside a specific text—and maybe only of interest to a doctoral student exploring responses to contemporary Realist writings. However, while there are differences between the “brands” of Realism, there is broad agreement that the coherence of the Realist perspective depends on protecting the focus on traditional concerns, on the retrospective authority of Realism, from non-traditional threats. This strategy of protection defines the limits of Realist perspectives. But what became clear as I read around the subject for teaching and research is that there are influential non-Realist works of International Relations that limit how we think about the politics of security, suppressing moral anxiety. These works also work to limit the possibilities for thinking about non-traditional threats such as human-generated climate change—but in ways that were perhaps more subtle than that found in Mearsheimer’s defense of Realism. What is more, these books were not obviously aimed at “winning” the reader over to the perspective of a particular tradition (although there are indications that techno-optimism provides a foundation for these non-Realist perspectives). These books were presented as useful introductions for students to make sense of a daunting set of theoretical approaches and areas of inquiry, authoritative and accessible introductions to guide undergraduates through their courses in International

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Relations. So, on the surface, they were not written from the perspective of trying to defend a particular tradition, like Mearsheimer sets out to do in The Tragedy of Great Power Politics. Whereas Mearsheimer is working hard to convince the reader of the validity of Offensive Realism, these textbooks are designed to give an overview, an overview provided by some of the “experts” in the discipline. Surveying some of the textbooks that students turn to for accessible introductions to International Relations, it is clear that non-Realist approaches to International Relations are including “the environment” as a legitimate area of inquiry. A new generation of textbooks includes “the environment” alongside other non-traditional issues such as gender and “new security challenges.” The non-Realist explorations found in many of these textbooks often draw the students attention to the impact of transnational nongovernmental organizations on the global environmental agenda, pointing to the role of environmental organizations such as Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and the World Wildlife Fund in pushing for environmental issues to become legitimate concerns in international relations and the politics of security. It will often be noted that as these transnational organizations are creating new forms of International Society and global governance, operating above and beyond the state, using the instruments of the information age to raise awareness about issues such as nuclear testing and whaling, undermining the territorial concerns of national interest. In International Relations and World Politics, Mark Viotti and Paul Kauppi conclude their introduction to the global environment by commenting that: Initial successes of such organizations are often followed by further successes. Greenpeace and the World Wildlife Fund have enrolled over six million members around the globe supported by a well-developed staff and cadre of scientific experts able to contest the arguments and evidence put forward by state bureaucracies and corporations. These experts often provide input into the development of programs such as the Global Environment Outlook, sponsored by the United Nations Environment Programme. Such NGOs illustrate that the state is not the only focus for collective efforts to affect world politics.33 To be sure, it is necessary to include discussion on how these organizations are making possible new forms of global politics. However, in this section on the global environment there is no mention of how organizations such as the Global Climate Coalition—or other nodes in the networks of global power—attempted to influence the policy agenda. It is as if the authoritative textbooks, designed to introduce students to the big themes of international relations, are uncomfortable including discussion of such actors: it appears preferable to focus on the “heroic” communications strategies of Green-peace rather than point to the attempts to play down fears of climate change by Exxon-Mobil. In so doing, the presentation of ecopolitics here supports the view that certain ways of understanding international relations are illegitimate. It is as if the fear of being labeled “utopian” or “radical” transcends the Realist tradition in the discipline, limiting discussion on the condition of organized irresponsibility. It appears impolite to discuss the tactics deployed by carboniferous capitalism in a textbook aimed at undergraduates, as unacceptable as

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showing the reality of human suffering that results from networked, virtual war on prime time television in the tame zones. This tendency is even more pronounced in a textbook written by Robert Jackson and Georg Sørenson, Introduction to International Relations. In their overview of the global environmental agenda they include an observation about the two dominant approaches that have emerged, the “modernist” position and the “ecoradicals.” The “modernist” position is based on the view that “technological competence will enhance our capability to protect the environment.”34 So this is basically the view developed by Julian Simon on the “ultimate resource.” The ecoradicals, on the other hand, call for “strict population” control and dramatic changes in lifestyle. The manner in which the ecoradicals are constructed is problematic for a number of reasons. First of all, even the term ecoradicals is pejorative, implying that we are presented with a choice between “modernists” (which implies progress, technological advancement, rationality) and radicals who seek to undermine all that the modernists stand for. In this sense, a hierarchy of value is fundamental to this brief discussion, a hierarchy that implies that modernists stand for order and security and the ecoradicals offer irrationality, disorder, a mode of existence without the secure foundations of the “modernist” perspective: For them, real sustainability means abandoning industrial mass production and reverting to some form of de-industrialized society. Behind such extreme ideas lies a world view profoundly different from the “modernist,” anthropocentric view that is dominant in Western secular thinking—i.e. that man is above nature.35 To be an ecoradical is to be extreme: to read the work of intellectuals such as Simon Dalby and Timothy W.Luke, intellectuals who have developed detailed explorations of the moral and political economy of ecopolitics, would be misguided for the undergraduate embarking on their intellectual journey through International Relations.36 These writers have begun to expand the parameters of International Relations to discuss broader questions of resource use and consumption, along with analysis of the strategies to construct moral indifference to environmental threats. The implication of Jackson and Sørenson’s overview is that it is unacceptable for an undergraduate to use such work in their reading and writing, in their attempts to develop a sociological imagination of global existence. And it is clear that this hierarchy is a simplification of alternatives to the “modernist” position: while there are “deep ecologists” that may call for the return to a de-industrialized society there are just as many in this area who call for a re-imagining of technological society based on a politics of justice, equality and responsibility. Jackson and Sørenson go on to observe that there is no “agreement among ‘ecoradicals’ about the role of the state or what to put in place of the state,”37 providing the impression that the modernist position does not contain any internal problems or sources of insecurity. The conclusion they reach is that adopting the “ecoradical” view would involve abandoning “much traditional [International Relations] IR theory.”38 Although Jackson and Sørenson do not say it explicitly, it is clear that the “modernist” view is the legitimate approach to International Relations: “If we adopt the ‘modernist’ view, most traditional

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IR [International Relations]-theory can be retained because it is well suited to deal with collaboration and discord including conflicts arising from the environment issue.”39 What we begin to see in this discussion is that even in introductory textbooks to International Relations there are strategies at play that limit how we can think about the politics of security, maintaining the view that it is dangerous and “anti-modern” to contest legitimate strategies of protection and search for alternative forms of existence. The only choice we have is between the writings of modernists and the ecoradicals, representative of the “extreme” view. Yet traversing the lines of separation between these two views are rich and complex explorations of ecopolitics, works such as Dalby’s Environmental Security and Thom Kuehls’ Beyond Sovereign Territory: The Space of Ecopolitics. Jackson and Sørenson could reply that they are simply reflecting the debates as they are emerging in the discipline. However, the way in which this debate is presented is loaded with broader implications of power: it supports the view that some approaches and concerns are legitimate while others are illegitimate. There are more sophisticated explorations of non-traditional problems and alternative forms of global governance, developed by intellectuals such as James N.Rosenau in Along the Domestic-Foreign Frontier: Exploring Governance in a Turbulent World and Joseph Nye in The Paradox of American Power: Why the World’s Only Superpower Can’t Go It Alone.40 Both books challenge the retrospective authority of Realism, articulating the need to incorporate non-traditional threats into the politics of security. For Nye it is important that the United States pays attention to its “soft power,” the image it projects to the rest of the world: for Nye, it is a security imperative to work on the image of being a responsible power, a power that acts beyond the limits of Realist national interest. In Along the Domestic-Foreign Frontier: Exploring Governance in a Turbulent World, Rosenau is concerned with how the “proliferation of networks that link diverse and distant individuals” can result in new forms of governance: “there is certainly no reason to abandon hope if one’s democracy allows for the growth of institutions unique to transnational rather than territorial political spaces.”41 Neither exploration mentions the networks of carboniferous capitalism in their discussions of ecopolitics. Again, it appears that there is a sense of anxiety in drawing attention to the actions of the fossil fuel industry, downplaying fears of human-generated climate change or, for that matter, any of the other corporate strategies that have been deployed over a range of issues related to environmental security, the type of strategies outlined by Sharon Beder in Global Spin.42 In the case of Rosenau, it is not as if his exploration of ecopolitics is lacking in detail and analysis. On the contrary, a number of pertinent observations are made. Indeed, he is sensitive to the fact that communities in contemporary capitalism find it difficult to respond to the uncertainty of “distant” and “uncertain” environmental threats: such threats are “easily relegated to peripheral status. With the rare exception of when they connote disaster, such developments do not pose a need for instant reactions, altered policies, or restless preoccupations.”43 Yet Rosenau is unwilling to discuss the strategies and practices that seek to produce indifference to these threats: discussing the instrumental rationality of contemporary society on human and non-human existence appears out of place in legitimate International Relations. Interestingly, given the line of inquiry I have been developing in previous chapters, a dominant theme that runs through Rosenau’s book is the need to resist the pessimistic visions offered by those who point to:

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continued authority crises, to fragmenting tendencies that weakened states cannot reverse, to intense competition for scarce resources, markets and status—all of which suggest a continued absence of effective governance mechanisms capable of eliminating the morbid symptoms of a world spiraling out of control.44 These arguments, according to Rosenau, are the easiest to make: like Simon and the Cato Institute, Rosenau views pessimism and anxiety as a source of ethico-political danger. Pessimistic perspectives, according to Rosenau, must be resisted as there are hints of new orientations and structures “which, while not always orderly, enable individual and collective actors to relate to each other, cooperate, conflict, or otherwise manage to move through time reasonably intact.”45 In his discussion he develops this theme in relation to ecopolitics. Rosenau appears to be deeply concerned about his own sense of (techno)optimism: “Do the optimistic assessments derive from that strain of the human spirit which has to plow ahead despite insurmountable odds?”46 He goes on to provide four bases for avoiding a “premature pessimism.” In the first of these bases he concludes by suggesting that politicians are increasingly “vulnerable to being shamed into addressing” threats such as human-generated climate change, pointing to George Bush’s appearance at the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio. According to Rosenau, this is a good example of “how the politics of shame can evoke behavior that would not otherwise occur.”47 It would be interesting to hear his comments on the politics of shame after the war in the Gulf during 2003 and George W.Bush’s response to the Kyoto Protocol: one does not have to think hard about what the Realist response would be. Rosenau’s conclusion is that the more the “momentum toward environmental governance builds, the more will citizens everywhere be caught up in its ripple effects; and the more enmeshed they become, the more will support for appropriate control mechanisms be generated.”48 To be sure, it is important to explore strategies that will open up new possibilities for living differently. But what we find in this non-Realist work is a total absence of any discussion of the type of issues raised in Klare’s work on resource wars, nor do we get any serious analysis of the attempts by the networks of carboniferous capitalism to play down fears of human-generated climate change. Indeed, one is left with the feeling that such a work is more concerned with the moral security of the reader, living and consuming in the tame zones, than it is with raising a sense of moral anxiety about organized irresponsibility. So while the discussion may be broader than is found in Mearsheimer’s The Tragedy of Great Power Politics, the end result is the same: not only should we not feel anxiety about current modes of development, we do not need to investigate the strategies that seek to produce moral indifference. Far from it: there is the sense in Rosenau’s book that to feel a sense of moral anxiety about current modes of development is as illegitimate as investigating the practices of organized irresponsibility. What we begin to see here is that in both Realist and non-Realist explorations, sensitive to the concerns of International Society, there is a sense that “serious” works of International Relations are more concerned with producing moral security about technologically “advanced” society—a sense that we do not need to feel anxiety (and pessimism) about the insecurity and suffering that our societies may be creating—for those in the secure spaces of the

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academy: to feel moral anxiety is a sign of flawed judgment, a condition that will undermine the search for a less insecure world. Yet there are approaches to International Relations that seek to challenge the tendency of the discipline to provide the illusion of moral security on the dangers, inequalities and insecurities of global existence. These approaches suggest that the tendency of the discipline to provide moral security is part of the problem, limiting investigation on the issues that we confront, as well as limiting the search for alternative ways of living and securing. In “An American Political Science: International Relations,” Stanley Hoffman declared that the discipline should become the “science of uncertainty”: it should be concerned with “the limits of action, of the ways in which states try to manage but never quite succeed in eliminating their own insecurity.”49 What seems clear is that traditional perspectives in the discipline have yet to respond adequately to the uncertainty of science, to scenarios where not only are our technological projects for securing existence endangering human and non-human life but where we cannot call on the “retrospective authority” of traditional security politics for strategies of protection. As those concerned with the development of a critical geopolitics have argued, a nonRealist approach to the politics of security needs to be as much about the production and legitimation of geopolitical knowledge, as it is about exploring the ways in which insecurity traverses the lines of separation between traditional and non-traditional threats. Furthermore, a critical approach to security needs to resist the strategies of normalization that seek to make human and non-human suffering/insecurity an inevitable consequence of legitimate projects for securing and protecting existence. In this sense, traditional approaches to International Relations have been concerned with providing moral security, providing distance from the insecurity and uncertainty of existence. In a manner similar to the way that “networked” wars are reduced to spectacles of destruction, illusions of sanitized violence, with attempts to keep the reality of human suffering at a safe distance, so International Relations attempts to suppress moral anxiety. The discipline is beginning to reflect on its complicity with the social production of moral indifference and this book is an attempt to explore some of the strategies that suppress moral anxiety on the global condition of insecurity and uncertainty, focusing on an issue that is pushed to the margins of the discipline, a move that works to secure the foundations of legitimate approaches to the politics of security. As Ulrich Beck comments: It may be that we are situated at the beginning of a historical process of habituation. It may be that the next generation, or the one after that, will no longer be upset at pictures of birth defects, like those of tumor-covered fish and birds that now circulate around the world, just as we are no longer upset today by violated values, the new poverty and a constant high level of mass unemployment. It would not be the first time standards disappear as a result of their violation.50 Indeed, non-Realist perspectives must seek to explore these processes of habituation, processes that are evident in all aspects of global existence, from works of International

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Relations to the media presentation of networked wars; we must search for ways to resist strategies of normalization that limit our moral imaginations, pointing to the tensions in a politics of insecurity shaped by the consumption of protection and the protection of consumption.

Notes 1 Introduction: the tragedy of Realism 1 Z.Bauman and K.Tester, Conversations with Zygmunt Bauman, Cambridge: Polity, 2001, p. 86. 2 M.Foucault, The History of Sexuality Vol. 1: An Introduction, London: Penguin, 1979, p. 259. 3 My use of tame zone and wild zone refers back to Timothy W.Luke, “New World Order or Neo-World Orders: Power, Politics in Informationalizing Glocalities,” in M.Featherstone, S.Lash and R.Robertson (eds) Global Modernities, London: Sage, 1995. 4 F.Nietzsche, A Nietzsche Reader, London: Penguin, 1977, p. 96. 5 For useful explorations of Morgenthau’s life and work, see Tarak Barkawi, “Strategy as Vocation: Weber, Morgenthau and Modern Strategic Studies,” Review of International Studies, Volume 24, Number 2, April, 1998; Hans-Karl Pichter, “The Godfather of ‘Truth’: Max Weber and Carl Schmitt in Morgenthau’s Theory of Power Politics,” Review of International Studies, Volume 24, Number 2, April, 1998. 6 See chapter 7 in W.Connolly, Neuropolitics: Thinking, Culture, Speed, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2002. 7 C.Wright Mills, The Power Elite, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1959, p. 342. 8 Bauman and Tester, Conversations, p. 34. 9 Z.Bauman, Liquid Modernity, Cambridge: Polity, 2001, p. 215. 10 T.Adorno, The Jargon of Authenticity, London: Routledge, 2003, p. 27. 11 E.Fromm, The Sane Society, London: Routledge, 2001, p. 76. 12 P.Virilio, Popular Defense and Ecological Struggles, New York: Semiotext(e), 1990, p. 39. 13 D.Delillo, Underworld, London: Picador, 1997, p. 171. 14 J.Mearsheimer, The Tragedy of Great Power Politics, New York: W.W.Norton, 2001, p. 19. In the pages that follow, all numbers in round brackets indicate page references to this text. 15 G.Kolko, Another Century of War, New York: The New Press, 2001, p. 114. 16 K.Waltz, “The Continuity of International Politics,” in K.Booth and T.Dunne (eds) Worlds in Collision, London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2002, p. 351. 17 G.Alison and G.F.Treverton (eds), Rethinking America’s Security: Beyond Cold War to New World Order, New York: W.W.Norton, 1992. 18 G.Dinmore, “Hawks set out bold postwar vision of world,” Financial Times, March 22/March 23, 2003. 19 C.Layne, “The Right Peace: Conservatives against a war with Iraq,” LA Weekly, laweekly.com, Oct 25–31, 2002. 20 Kolko, Another Century, p. 119. 21 M.Weber, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, London: Routledge, 2001, p. 22. 22 The Economist, February 15–21, 2003, p. 12. 23 Wired, “China: The New Cloning Superpower,” January 2003, p. 121. 24 Ibid., p. 118. 25 The Economist, p. 75.

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26 Kolko, Another Century, p. 120. 27 Ibid., p. 122. 28 Ibid., p. 117.

2 The world is a laboratory 1 B.Latour, Wired, “The World Wide Lab,” June 2003, www.wired.com/wired/archive/11.06/research_spc.html. 2 J.Mearsheimer, The Tragedy of Great Power Politics, New York: W.W.Norton, 2001, p. 371. In the pages that follow, all numbers in round brackets indicate page references to this text. 3 Walt cited in J.Der Derian, Antidiplomacy: Spies, Terror, Speed and War, Oxford: Blackwell, 1992, p. 11. 4 C.Gray, “Realism Vindicated? World Politics as Usual after September 11,” in K.Booth and T.Dunne (eds) Worlds in Collision, London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2002, p. 228. See, also, M.Desch, “The Humanity of American Realism,” Review of International Studies, Volume 29, Number 3, July 2003, pp. 415–26. 5 J.L.Borges, “The Immortal,” Collected Fictions, London: Penguin, p. 190. 6 U.Beck, World Risk Society, Cambridge: Polity, 1999, p. 6. 7 S.Hoffman, “An American Social Science: International Relations,” in J.Der Derian (ed.) International Theory: Critical Investigations, New York: New York University Press, 1995, p. 237. 8 B.Ridley, On Science, London: Routledge, 2001, p. 182. 9 B.Adam, “Re-vision: The Centrality of Time for an Ecological Social Science Perspective,” in S.Lash, B.Szerszynski and Brian Wynne (eds) Risk, Environment and Modernity: Towards A New Ecology, London: Sage, 1996, p. 97. 10 See, for example, T.Athanasiou and P.Baer, Dead Heat: Global Justice and Global Warming, New York: Seven Stories Press, 2002; J.Houghton, Global Warming: The Complete Briefing, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004; Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) website: www.ipcc/ch. 11 E.O.Wilson, The Future of Life, London: Abacus, 2003, p. 67. 12 M.Paterson, Global Warming and Global Politics, London: Routledge, 1996, p. 1. 13 http://www.globalclimate.org/, accessed August 2000. 14 Geo-2000: UNEP’s Millennium Report on the Environment, London: Earth-scan, 1999, p. 35. 15 Ibid. 16 C.Kronick, “The International Politics of Climate Change,” The Ecologist, Volume 29, Number 2, March/April, 1999, p. 107. 17 P.Virilio, Strategy of Deception, London: Verso, 2000, p. 48. 18 J.Rifkin, The Hydrogen Economy: The Creation of the Worldwide Energy Web and the Redistribution of Power on Earth, Cambridge: Polity, 2002, p. 147. 19 Beck, World Risk Society, p. 50. 20 This phrase—which was coined by Lewis Mumford—is used by Simon Dalby in Environmental Security, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2002. 21 B.McKibben, “Some Like it Hot,” The New York Review of Books, Volume XLVIII, Number 11, 2001, p. 26. 22 Beck, World Risk Society, p. 63. 23 P.Rogers, “Political Violence and Global Order,” in K.Booth and T.Dunne (eds) Worlds in Collision, London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2002, p. 218. 24 www.ems.org/climate/pentagon_climate_change.html#report.

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25 Paterson, Global Warming and Global Politics, p. 107. 26 M.Klare, Resource Wars: The New Landscape of Global Conflict, New York: Henry Holt, 2002, p. 16. 27 Klare, Resource Wars, p. 17. 28 Ibid. 29 S.Dalby, Environmental Security, p. 167. 30 Klare, Resource Wars, p. 24. 31 Ibid., p. 116. 32 Ibid., p. 156. 33 M.Klare, “Options exist short of war,” www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/editorials/2003– 03–18-oppose_x.htm, March 18, 2003. 34 M.Klare, “Oiling the wheels of war,” http://www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml?i=20021007&s=klare, October 2, 2002. 35 Klare, Resource Wars, p. 140. 36 Ibid., p. 233. 37 Ibid., p. 224. 38 D.Campbell, The Guardian, “White House cuts global warming from report,” June 20, 2003. 39 O.Burkeman, The Guardian, “Memo exposes Bush’s new green strategy,” March 4, 2003. 40 McKibben, “Some Like it Hot,” p. 36. 41 J.Habermas, Legitimation Crisis, London: Heinemann Educational Books, 1976, p. 43. 42 Adam, “Re-vision,” p. 98. 43 E.H.Carr, The Twenty Years Crisis, 1919–1939: An Introduction to the Study of International Relations, London: Palgrave Macmillan, 1995, p. 98. 44 A.Linklater, “The Transformation of Political Community: E.H.Carr, Critical Theory and International Relations,” Review of International Studies, Volume 23, Number 3, July 1997, p. 338.

3 Illusions of Realism 1 J.Mearsheimer, The Tragedy of Great Power Politics, New York: W.W.Norton, 2001, p. 237. In the pages that follow, all numbers in round brackets indicate page references to this text. 2 E.Regis, “The Doomslayer,” Wired, Issue 5.02, February 1997, p. 136. 3 B.Wattenberg, “Malthus, Watch Out,” Wall Street Journal, February 11, 1998. 4 Ibid. 5 Regis, “The Doomslayer,” p. 136. 6 J.Mearsheimer, Through the Realist Lens: Conversation with John Mearsheimer, http://globetrotter.berkeley.edu/people2/Mearsheimer/mearsheimer-con1.html. 7 Regis, “The Doomslayer,” p. 136. 8 Mearsheimer, Through the Realist Lens. 9 Regis, “The Doomslayer,” p. 136. 10 T.Anathasiou, Slow Reckoning: The Ecology of a Divided Planet, London: Vintage, 1998, p. 78. 11 P.Strydom, Risk, Environment and Society, Milton Keynes: Open University Press, 2002, p. 22. 12 Wattenberg, “Malthus, Watch Out.” 13 Ibid. 14 Anathasiou, Slow Reckoning, p. 78. 15 Ibid. 16 Ibid.

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17 Ibid., p. 299 18 C.Wright Mills, The Sociological Imagination, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1967, p. 109. 19 Ibid. 20 S.Moore, “Julian Simon Remembered: It’s a Wonderful Life,” www.cato.org/pubs/policy_report/cpr-20n2–1.html. 21 S.Beder, Global Spin: The Corporate Assault on Environmentalism, Totnes: Green Books, 1997, p. 83. 22 Ibid., p. 84. 23 Ibid., p. 85. 24 Ibid., p. 75. 25 Ibid., p. 77. 26 Ibid., p. 78. 27 www.laissezfairebooks.com/index.php?stocknumber=CU8640. 28 T.Galen Carpenter, “The New World Disorder,” in W.Olson with J.Lee (eds) The Theory and Practice of International Relations, London: Prentice-Hall, 1994. 29 Ibid., p. 88. 30 Beder, Global Spin, p. 76. 31 Ibid., p. 77. 32 Ibid., p. 80. 33 Ibid., p. 86. 34 Ibid. 35 Ibid., p. 81. 36 Ibid. 37 M.Foucault, Society Must be Defended, London: Penguin, 2003; R.Sennett, Authority, New York: W.W.Norton, 1980. 38 J.Habermas, Legitimation Crisis, London: Heinemann, 1976, p. 35. 39 T.Gale Moore, Climate of Fear: Why we shouldn’t Worry about Global Warming, Washington DC: Cato Institute, 1998, p. 2. 40 Ibid., p. 140. 41 Ibid., p. 2. 42 Ibid., p. 130. 43 Ibid., p. 131. 44 Ibid., p. 3. 45 For a useful critique of this line of thought see C.Hamilton, “Justice, the Market and Climate Change,” in N.Low (ed.) Global Ethics and Environment, London: Routledge, 1999, p. 100. 46 Moore, Climate of Fear, p. 128. 47 Cited in Hamilton, “Justice, the Market and Climate Change,” p. 100. 48 Moore, Climate of Fear, p. 9. 49 Ibid., p. 103. 50 Ibid., p. 104. 51 Ibid., p. 121. 52 Hamilton, “Justice, the Market and Climate Change,” p. 99. 53 Moore, Climate of Fear, p. 111. 54 Ibid., p. 109. 55 Hamilton, “Justice, the Market and Climate Change,” p. 98. 56 Adam, “Re-vision: The Centrality of Time for an Ecological Social Science Perspective,” in S.Lash, B.Szerszynski and Brian Wynne (eds) Risk, Environment and Modernity: Towards A New Ecology, London: Sage, 1996, p. 98. 57 D.Lal, “Foreword: Ecological Imperialism,” Climate Change: Challenging the Conventional Wisdom, IEA Studies on the Environment, Number 10, London: The Institute of Economic Affairs, 1997, p. 8.

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58 S.Boehmer-Christiansen, “Uncertainty in the Service of Science: Between Science Policy and the Politics of Power,” in G.Fermann (ed.) International Politics of Climate Change: Key Issues and Critical Actors, Oslo: Scandinavian University Press, 1997. See also “Who is driving Climate Change Policy?,” in D.Lal, Climate Change: Challenging the Conventional Wisdom, IEA Studies on the Environment, Number 10, London: The Institute of Economic Affairs, 1997. 59 Ibid., p. 149. 60 Ibid., p. 151. 61 P.J.O’Rourke, All the Trouble in the World, London: Picador, 1995, p. 211. 62 Ibid., p. 12. 63 Ibid., p. 220. 64 Z.Bauman, Postmodern Ethics, Oxford: Blackwell, 1993. 65 J.Der Derian, “‘Is the author dead?’ An Interview with Paul Virilio,” in James Der Derian (ed.) The Virilio Reader, Cambridge: Blackwell, 1998, p. 20.

4 Mearsheimer and the vicious circle 1 J.Mearsheimer, The Tragedy of Great Power Politics, New York: W.W.Norton, p. 9. In the pages that follow, all numbers in round brackets indicate page references to this text. 2 www.nationalreview.com/comment/murray200402260901.asp. 3 www.guardian.co.uk/print/0,3858,4864237–110970,00.html. 4 U.Beck, World Risk Society, Cambridge: Polity, 1999, p. 68. 5 S.Retallack, “How US Politics is Letting the World Down,” The Ecologist, Volume 27, Number 2, November/December 1997, p. 118. 6 B.Clinton, “World Without Walls,” The Guardian, Saturday January 26, 2002. 7 Ibid. 8 M.Steger, Globalism: The New Market Ideology, New York: Rowman and Littlefield, 2001, p. 132. 9 M.Klare, Resource Wars: The New Landscape of Global Conflict, New York: Henry Holt, 2002, p. 6. 10 G.Kolko, Another Century of War, New York: The Free Press, 2002, p. 36. 11 Klare, Resource Wars, p. 1. 12 Ibid., p. 2. 13 Ibid., p. 3. 14 Ibid., p. 4. 15 Ibid., p. 5. 16 Ibid., p. 219. 17 Ibid., p. 220. 18 Ibid. 19 M.Duffield, Global Governance and the New Wars, London: Zed Books, 2001, p. 198. 20 Kolko, Another Century of War, p. 109. 21 Ibid., p. 111. 22 P.Harris, “Understanding America’s Climate Change Policy: Realpolitik, Pluralism and Ethical Norms,” Oxford Centre for the Environment Research Paper, Number 15, June 1998, p. 21. 23 W.Nitze, “A Failure of Presidential Leadership,” in I.Mintzen and J.Amber Leonard (eds) Negotiating Climate Change: The Inside Story, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994, p. 189. 24 Ibid., p. 193.

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25 Ibid. 26 T.Luke, “A Rough Road Out of Rio: The Right Wing Reaction in the United States against Global Environmentalism,” www.cddc.vt.edu/tim/tims/Tim599.htm, 1999. 27 Ibid. 28 The Wall Street Journal, December 10, 1997. 29 Harris, “Understanding America’s Climate Change Policy,” p. 21. 30 Ibid. 31 R.Gelbspan, The Heat is On, New York: Addison-Wesley, 1997, p. 124. 32 Harris, “Understanding America’s Climate Change Policy,” p. 22. 33 B.Mckibben, Maybe One, London: Anchor, 1998, p. 115. 34 J.Leggett, The Carbon War: Dispatches from the End of the Oil Century, London: Penguin, 1999, p. 120. 35 Retallack, “How US Politics is Letting the World Down,” p. 112. 36 Ibid. 37 Ibid., p. 114. 38 McKibben, Maybe One, p. 114. 39 Corporate Watch, 24/5/2000: www.corpwatch.org/. 40 Harris, “Understanding America’s Climate Change Policy,” p. 20. 41 M.Sandel, “It’s Immoral to buy the Right to Pollute,” The New York Times, December 15, 1997. 42 Ibid. 43 The New York Times, December 12, 1997. 44 G.Stephanopoulos, All Too Human: A Political Education, London: Little, Brown, 1999. 45 T.Skocpol and S.Greenberg, “A Politics for our Time,” in S.Greenberg and T.Skocpol (eds) The New Majority: Towards a Popular Progressive Politics, London: Yale University Press, 1997, p. 4. 46 The Christian Science Monitor, December 16, 1997. 47 Retallack, “How US Politics is Letting the World Down,” p. 115. 48 Gelbspan, The Heat is On, p. 97. 49 Z.Bauman, Globalization: The Human Consequences, Cambridge: Polity, p. 75. 50 Ibid., p. 76. 51 The Christian Science Monitor, December 16, 1997. 52 J.Borger and M.Kettle, “Congress backs Open Trade with China,” The Guardian, May 25, 2000. 53 T.Skocpol, Boomerang: Clinton’s Health Security Effort and the Turn Against Big Government in the U.S. Politics, London: W.W.Norton, 1997, p. 138. 54 Skocpol, Boomerang, p. 118. 55 M.Castells, The Power of Identity, Oxford: Blackwell, 1997, p. 319. 56 S.Beder, “Corporate Hijacking of the Greenhouse Debate,” The Ecologist, Volume 29, Number 2, March/April 1999. 57 www.globalclimate.org/. 58 Beder, Global Spin: The Corporate Assault on Environmentalism, Totnes: Green Books, p. 108. 59 Gelbspan, The Heat is On, p. 64. 60 www.greenpeace.org/international_en/. 61 Beder, “Corporate Hijacking of the Greenhouse Debate,” p. 119. 62 Chuck Hagel speech to Senate, October 3, 1998. 63 The Independent, December 10, 1997. 64 The Economist, October 11, 1997. 65 Bauman, Globalization, p. 3. 66 M.Rupert, Producing Hegemony: The Politics of Mass Production and American Global Power, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995, p. 200.

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67 www.newamericancentury.org/. 68 http://www.wsje.com/. 69 www.globalclimate.org/. 70 Ibid. 71 www.eagleforum.org/. 72 www.funoutdoors.com/index.html. 73 Ibid. 74 Z.Bauman, Liquid Modernity, Cambridge: Polity, 2000, p. 215.

5 Conclusion 1 R.Ashley, “The Poverty of Neorealism,” International Organization, Volume 38, Number 2, Spring 1984, p. 228. 2 J.Mearsheimer and S.M.Walt, “Keeping Saddam in a Box,” The New York Times, February 2, 2003: www.ksg.harvard.edu/news/opeds/2003/walt_saddam_box_nyt_020203.htm. 3 C.Wright Mills, The Sociological Imagination, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1959, p. 109. 4 See, for example, Ashley, “The Poverty of Neorealism”; R.Cox, “Social Forces, States and World Orders: Beyond International Relations Theory,” Millennium: Journal of International Studies, Volume 10, Number 2, 1981; M.Dillon, The Politics of Security, London: Routledge, 1996. 5 M.Hardt and A.Negri, Empire, Harvard: Harvard University Press, 2001. 6 Z.Bauman, Postmodern Ethics, Oxford: Blackwell, 1993, p. 80. 7 Z.Bauman, Liquid Modernity, Cambridge: Polity Press, 2000, p. 215. 8 See, for instance, M.J.Lacy, “War, Cinema and Moral Anxiety,” Alternatives: Global, Local, Political, Volume 28, Number 5, 2003; C.Weber, “Flying Planes Can Be Dangerous,” Volume 31, Number 1, 2002. 9 Z.Bauman, In Search of Politics, Cambridge: Polity, 1999, p. 51. 10 W.E.Connolly, The Ethos of Pluralization, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1995, p. 122. 11 www.corpwatch.org/. 12 S.Retallack, “How US Politics is Letting the World Down,” The Ecologist, Volume 27, Number 2, November/December 1997, p. 118. 13 The Wall Street Journal, December 1, 1997. 14 P.Virilio, Popular Defense and Ecological Struggles, New York: Semiotext, 1997, p. 61. 15 “Supermicrobe Man,” Wired, December 2002, p. 12. 16 S.Dalby, Environmental Security, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2002, p. 168. See also, M.Paterson, “Car Culture and Global Environmental Politics,” Review of International Studies, Volume 26, Number 2, April 2000. 17 M.O’Meara, “Exploring a New Vision for Cities,” in L.Brown and C.Flavin (eds) State of the World 1999, London: Earthscan, 1999, p. 143. 18 Ibid. 19 “China road deaths top 100,000,” CNN.com, November 17, 2003. 20 “Big, not clever,” The Guardian, G2, April 22, 2003. 21 R.Sennett, “Cities without care or connection,” News Statesmen, June 5, 2000, p. 27. 22 P.Virilio, Open Sky, London: Verso, 1997, p. 58. 23 Sennett, “Cities without care or connection,” p. 27. 24 Ibid. 25 Ibid. 26 Ibid.

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27 N.Klein, No Logo, London: Flamingo, 2001. 28 “Exxon welcomes US backing on lawsuit,” Agence France press release, August 9, 2002, www.laborrights.org/press/exxonafp080902.htm. 29 D.Evitar, “Profits at gunpoint,” The Nation, June 30, 2003: www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Oil_watch/ProfitGunpoint_UnocalBurma.html. 30 M.Duffield, Global Governance and the New Wars, London: Zed, 2001, p. 66. 31 S.Dalby, Environmental Security, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2002, p. 160. 32 J.Rifkin, The Hydrogen Economy: The Creation of the Worldwide Energy Web and the Redistribution of Power on Earth, Cambridge: Polity, 2002, p. 216. 33 M.Viotti and P.Kauppi, International Relations and World Politics, London: Prentice Hall, 2001, p. 399. 34 R.Jackson and G.Sørenson, Introduction to International Relations, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999, p. 270. 35 Ibid., p. 273. 36 Dalby, Environmental Security; T.W.Luke, Ecocritique, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1997; T.Kuehls, Beyond Sovereign Territory: The Space of Ecopolitics, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1996; M.Paterson, Understanding Global Environmental Politics: Domination, Accumulation, Resistance, London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2002. 37 Jackson and Sørenson, Introduction to International Relations, p. 273. 38 Ibid., p. 274. 39 Ibid., p. 273. 40 J.Nye, The Paradox of American Power: Why the World’s Only Superpower Can’t Go It Alone, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003. 41 J.Rosenau, Along the Domestic-Foreign Frontier: Exploring Governance in a Turbulent World, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997, p. 412. 42 S.Beder, Global Spin: The Corporate Assault on Environmentalism, Totnes: Green Books, 1997. 43 Ibid., p. 198. 44 Ibid., p. 422. 45 Ibid., p. 423. 46 Ibid., p. 206. 47 Ibid., p. 208. 48 Ibid., p. 213. 49 S.Hoffman, “An American Social Science: International Relations,” in J.Der Derian (ed.) International Theory: Critical Investigations, New York: New York University Press, 1995, p. 237. 50 U.Beck, Risk Society, London: Sage, 1992, p. 83.

Index Note. Page numbers in italics refer to quotations in chapter and section headings

Adam, Barbara 35, 53 Adorno, Theodor 1, 4, 9 Africa, sub-Saharan 99–100 Alien Tort Statute, lawsuits 140–1 Aliyev, Heydar, President of Azerbaijan 99 Amazon.com, book reviews on 122–3 American Enterprise Institute 18, 67, 69, 70, 125 American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) 104 American Petroleum Institute 70 American Recreation Coalition 118–19 Angelou, Maya 106 Arendt, Hannah 4 Ashley, Richard 124 Azerbaijan 99 Ballard, J.G. 84 Baudrillard, Jean 82 Bauman, Zygmunt 1, 4, 5, 6, 13, 80, 124; In Search of Politics 130; Liquid Modernity 7–8; and moral anxiety 128, 130, 135; on moral indifference 85, 129 Beck, Ulrich 34, 39, 40, 95, 102, 135; on habituation 150 Beder, Sharon 68, 69; Global Spin 66–7, 147 Benjamin, Walter 4 Boehmer-Christiansen, Sonja 81–2 Borges, Jorge Luis, The Immortal 33 Brazil, and Rio Earth Summit 83–4 British Petroleum 74, 133, 142 Burma, Unocal and 141 Burson-Martsteller public relations 111–12 Bush, George (snr) administration: and environment 102; and Rio Earth Summit (1992) 148 Bush, George W., US President 6, 98, 148 Bush, George W., administration: and Africa 99;

Index

131

and Iraq 17, 125; preemptive Realism of 17–18; unilateralism 17 Bush, Jeb 117 Campbell, David, National Deconstruction 122–3 capitalism: and fossil fuel economy 74–5; and global economy 139; limits of 51–2; response to ecological problems 73; state role in 72–3 Caputo, John 12 car culture: as form of insecurity 136–7, see also Sports Utility Vehicles carbon emissions 46; Clinton’s pledge to cut 101–2, 103–4; cuts as threat to American way of life 118–19, see also greenhouse gases Carpenter, Ted Galen: Nato’s Empty Victory 68; Peace and Freedom 68 Carr, E.H. 53–4, 127 Carson, Rachel, Silent Spring 112 Caspian Sea basin: energy resources 43, 44, 74, 99; US interests 98–9 Castells, Manuel 109 Cato Institute 18, 66, 67, 68, 69; budget 70; and costs of climate change 79; and uncertainty of climate change 75 Central Asia, US interests in 98–9, 133 Cheney, Dick 45, 48, 116 Chicago 138–9 China 46, 108, 136; demand for energy 43, 44–5; economic growth of 43, 46–7; fear of 24–6, 131; potential military advantage 42; as potential threat (“peer competitor”) 22–6, 42, 50, 55–6 cities, and bonds of sociality 138–40 Climate Action Network 37 climate change: anti-capitalist arguments of 52, 56, 102–3; constructed as illegitimate threat 110–20, 131–2; and increased resource use 46; lacking retrospective authority 114; legitimation of as threat 75; newspaper advertisements against Kyoto 115–16, 118, 126, 133;

Index

132

as “non-traditional” threat 5, 22; possible benefits of 77–82; scenario of global instability 40–1; science of 35–7, 56, 60–1, 82–3; as Second-Order problem 29, 50, 129; “sold” to US public as threat 106; as uncertain 30, 34–41, 50, 56, 75, 125; US and 101–10, see also carbon emissions; energy; environmentalism; Kyoto Cline, William 79 Clinton Administration: Climate Action Plan 103; and climate politics 101–10, 112; constraints of Realist elites on 100–1, 107; and Kyoto 106–7; measures against crime 108; and politics of security 95–101; Realist campaigns against 114–18; resource concerns 98–9 Clinton, Bill, US President 14, 19, 49, 82, 105–6; China Trade Bill 108; commitment to cutting emissions 101–2, 103–4; health plan reforms 109; liberal international relations rhetoric 95–7, 109–10; new security agenda 96–8; and responsible global governance 73, 75, 96; “World Without Walls” 96 Coca Cola 70 Cold War: end of 19; and politics of fear 10–11, 27 Colombia 142 Committee to Preserve American Security and Sovereignty 116, 117 Congo, Democratic Republic of 44 Connolly, William 133 constructivism 16 consumption, protection of 135 control: and politics of fear 9–11; and surveillance 33–4, 135 Control Risks Group 142 Corporate Watch (US), report on oil industry 133 corporations: membership of Global Climate Coalition 111; relationship with think-tanks 69–70; and uncertainty on climate change 38; and urban communities 139 critical theory 51–2; and sociology 7–8,

Index

133

see also International Relations; Realism Dalby, Simon 43, 135, 136, 142, 146; Environmental Security 123, 147 Day After Tomorrow, The (film) 41, 114, 132 Defense Services Ltd (DSL) 142 Deleuze, Gilles 4 Delillo, Don, Underworld 10–11 Der Derian, James 66, 88, 122 difference and diversity, liberal respect for 97 Dillon, Michael 135 Duffield, Mark 99–100, 141 E.Bruce Harrison Company 112 Eagleberger, Lawrence 116 economic growth: effect of climate change on 78; and energy consumption 51 Economist, The, on China 24, 26 “ecopolitical correctness” 95 ecoradicalism 145–6, 147 Ehrlich, Paul 60, 61, 63; The End of Affluence 61 Elshtain, Jean Bethke 60 energy: conservation measures 104; and economic growth 51; as First-Order problem 46; fossil fuel economy 74–5; potential for conflict over resources 41–8, 98; renewable 143; tax incentives 107 Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 47–8, 73, 102 environmentalism 62–3; in International Relations 144–7; optimistic 60–1; as utopian 60, 76, 125 escapism 3 ethics 2–3 Europe, US troops in 15 extreme, facing the (Realist stance) 4–5, 20, 49–50 Exxon-Mobil 70, 133, 142, 145; in Indonesia (Aceh) 140–1; and Kyoto 112 Falk, Richard 51–2, 60 fear: of China 24–6, 131; politics of 9–11, 89; strategies of 130–43;

Index

134

of unemployment 9; use of 8–12, 27, 70–1, 128, 130–1, see also insecurity; security; threats Ford Motor Company 70, 104 foreign policy: American 6, 14–15, 21–2, 98; and politics of (in)security 10, 27–8 fossil fuel economy 74–5, 98, 147; corporate interests in US 104, 112, 132, 133; tax incentives 107, 133–4, see also energy; oil Foucault, Michel 1, 4, 55, 71 Friedman, Milton 75 Friends of the Earth 144 Fromm, Erich 4, 9–10 Fukayama, Francis 96, 117 gated communities 135, 138 Gelbspan, Ross 107 Gephardt, Richard A. 107, 108 Global Climate Coalition 38, 56, 111–12, 116, 145; and construction of security 137; media campaigns 126; website 117–18 Global Climate Information Project 112–13 Global Environment Outlook 145 global governance: environmentalism and 149; regimes of 73, 80; as threat to US 114, 116–17, 131 globalization 6, 96; China and 23; and creation of threats 134–5; effect on urban community 138–40; moral limits on 24; and organized irresponsibility 140–1; resource networks 42–3, 147 Gore, Al 75, 82, 101–2, 106; and 2000 election 107; Earth in the Balance 95–6 Gramsci, Antonio 4 Gray, Colin 31–2 Great Power politics: alternatives to 94, 101, 140; as foundation of Offensive Realism 47, 85, 91–2; retrospective authority of military insecurity 126 greenhouse gases: Kyoto trading schemes 104–5;

Index

135

regulations on 76–7, 78, see also carbon emissions Greenpeace 75, 76, 106, 112, 144–5 Habermas, Jürgen 4, 51; Legitimation Crisis 72 habituation 150 Hagel, Chuck 113–15 Haig, Alexander 116 Hamilton, Clive 78–9, 80 Hansen, James 36 Hardt, Michael see Negri, Antonio Harris, Ralph, IEA 70 Harvey, David 135 Hayek, Friedrich von 70 Heritage Foundation 67, 68 Hoffman, Stanley 34; “An American Political Science” 149 Holocaust 1 Horkheimer, Max 1 human beings, as ultimate resource 61–2, 88–9, 91, 125 human rights: abuses 140–1; interventions 39–40 Huntington, Samuel P. 13 Hussein, Saddam 45, 131 ideology, Realism’s view of 16, 51 Indonesia 112, 140–1 information, on climate change 37–8 information technology, and energy consumption 43 insecurity: global 1–2, 4, 31–2, 33–4; offence as best defense 15, 20–1; politics of 6–8, 9, 10, 27–8; and use of fear 132; in “wild zones” 42, 44, see also fear; Offensive Realism; security; threats; uncertainty Institute for Biological Energy Alternatives 134–5 Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) (UK) 70; Climate Change: Challenging the Conventional Wisdom 80 intellectuals, role of 65, 66, 72, 93 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 35–8, 73, 75, 103; role of 81–2 International Energy Agency 46 International Labor Rights Fund 140 international organizations:

Index

136

environmentalist 144; inadequacy of 15, 21, see also corporations; global governance International Relations theory: critiques of Realism in 126–7; and Great Power Politics 92–3, 126; non-Realist approaches to 144–50; place of Realism in 3–4, 13, 94 Iraq: and oil resources 45; war in 17, 125, 131, 148 Jackson, Robert, and Georg Sørenson, Introduction to International Relations 145–7 Japan, and energy demands 44 Kauppi, Paul see Viotti, Mark Kieslowski, Krzysztoff, Dekalog (films) 87–8 Kissinger, Henry 17 Klare, Michael 98; Resource Wars 42–7, 51, 137 Kolko, Gabriel 17, 23, 27, 98, 100 Kronick, Charlie 37 Kuehls, Thom, Beyond Sovereign Territory 147 Kyoto negotiations (1997) 75, 76, 103, 112; Clinton Administration and 106–7; emissions trading schemes 105; US rejection of 104, 112–13, 115–16, 126, 133–4 Kyoto Protocol 96, 148 Laissez Faire Books (website) 68 Lal, Deepak 80 Layne, Christopher 18 Lévinas, Emmanuel 4 liberal democracy 19; and enlightened self-interest 97 liberalism: assumptions in International Relations 90–1; and conservative fundamentalism in US 133; and globalization 96; optimism of 19, 92; as “soft” 82, 113–14, 117, 120–1, see also Clinton Administration Linklater, Andrew 54 Lomborg, Bjon, The Skeptical Environmentalist 62–3 London School of Economics 137 Los Angeles 79 Luke, Timothy 102, 135, 146 Macdonald, Gail 118

Index

137

McKibben, Bill 40, 48 Marcuse, Herbert 4, 5–6 market forces, and environmentalism 76–7 Marshall, Andrew 94 Matrix (film) 122 Mearsheimer, John 55, 59, 60, 90; critique of liberal view 90–1; and hierarchy of threats 32–3, 34, 38–40, 54; and Iraq war 125; Offensive Realism 12–16, 17, 18–25; as pessimist 64–5; reviews of book 122; on Second-Order problems (footnote) 57–8, 85; The Tragedy of Great Power Politics 11–12, 14, 49, 53, 71; as theorist of tragedy 91; and uncertainty 54; view of Bush Administration 17–18 media, campaigns against Kyoto 115–16, 118, 126, 133 Mills, C.Wright 7, 64, 101, 126; The Sociological Imagination 65–6 modernists (environmentalist view) 145, 146–7 modernity, and security 4, 6 Monsanto 70 Moore, Stephen 59, 63, 67 Moore, Thomas Gale: Climate of Fear 75–6; possible benefits of climate change 77–80, 81 moral anxiety 128–9, 135–6, 137–8, 149–50; suppressed in non-Realist approaches 144 moral indifference 85, 129 moral responsibility 2, 20, 87–8 moral security 128–9, 149; and habituation 150 moralism, in US society 19, 69 Morgenthau, Hans 4, 5–6, 14 Nash, Roderick Frazier 82 National Association of Manufacturers (US) 104 National Coal Association 112 National Council of Churches 106 National Review Online 94 National Rifle Association (NRA) 100 Negri, Antonio, and Michael Hardt, Empire 127 Nietzsche, Friedrich 12, 29 Nigeria, Ogoniland 47, 142 Nile basin, water supplies 43, 46 9/11 see September 11, 2001 Nordhaus, William 78 nuclear power 81 Nye, Joseph, The Paradox of American Power 147

Index

138

Offensive Realism (Mearsheimer) 12–16, 17, 18–25, 126; as “common-sense” 20–1; as foundation of Great Power politics 47, 85; intellectual foundations of 56; and Klare’s analysis of resource conflict 43–7; power politics in 110–11; retrospective authority of 42, 49, 50, 53, 55; and US foreign policy 21–2; and worst-case scenarios 65, 85 oil resources 44, 134; United States 98, 104; and war in Iraq 45 O’Keefe, William F. 117 optimism: environmental 60–3; and Mearsheimer’s Realism 91–2; and US preemptive Realism 19, see also “techno-optimistic” assumptions organizations: non-state 73, see also think tanks organized irresponsibility 7, 111–12, 116, 121, 126–7; and globalization 140–1; and moral security 129 O’Rourke, P.J. 82–4, 126 Ottawa Landmines Treaty 100 peace, belief in perpetual 14 Persian Gulf 99–100 pessimism: and moral anxiety 148; of Realism 1–2, 3, 11, 60 Philip Morris corporation 70 political correctness, Realism in opposition to 82 power: networks of 7, 11, 92–5, 143; and politics of security 97–8 power elites 92–5, 107, 110–11; links with oil interests (US) 116; and Realist power politics 120 precautionary principle 11, 23; application to Second-Order threats 38–9, 50–1, 126; and obsession with insecurity 33–4 private security companies 141–2 Project for the New American Century 117 Raymond, Lee, president of Exxon-Mobil 112 Reagan, Ronald, US President 67, 70 Realism 6–7, 8, 15–16; approach to non-traditional threats 30, 31–4, 38–9, 144; authority and seriousness of 5, 12, 71, 122;

Index

139

conditioned 127; critical theorists of 4–6, 66, 122–3, 147–9; Defensive 14, 15; and fear of global uncertainties 70–2; and limits on critical thinking 110–11, 124–5, 135–6; moral security in 128–9; and patriotism 113–14, 132, 133; pessimism of 1–2, 3, 11, 60; seductive illusions of 128–30; use of techno-optimism 82, 121–2, see also Great Power politics; Offensive Realism (Mearsheimer) realism 59; and facts 58, 63; as out-of-time 65 Realist networks 8–9, 11, 26–7, 66, 82; and power elites 110–11; and technooptimism 125; use of fear 128, 130–1 Recreational Vehicle Industrial Association 119 regime change: for Iraq 17; and liberal democracy 19 Regis, Ed, on Simon 58 Reilly, William K. 102 Republican Party (US), and think-tanks 70 resources: access to 47, 51; human ingenuity as ultimate 61–2; potential for conflict over 41–8 retrospective authority: climate change lacking in 114; of Offensive Realism 42, 49, 50, 53, 55 Ridley, Professor Brian 35 Rifkin, Jeremy 88; The Hydrogen Economy 143 Rio Earth Summit (1992) 73, 83, 102, 103, 148 risk assessment 94 Rogers, Paul 40 Rosenau, James N., Along the Domestic-Foreign Frontier 147–9 Rosenberg, Justin, The Follies of Globalization 123 Rumsfeld, Donald 27, 117 Rupert, Mark 116 Rwanda 39 Sandel, Michael 105 Schafly, Phyllis 118 science: of climate change 35–7, 56, 60–1, 82–3; uncertainty of 149 security:

Index

140

alternative strategies of 142–3; construction of 137–8; hierarchies of 27–8, 29, 31–4; politics of 95–101, 121, 132–3; strategies of 135, see also insecurity; threats security companies, private 141–2 Sennett, Richard 71, 137 September 11, 2001: Realist view of 31–2; US policy after 17, Shell corporation 70 27 Sierra Club 38, 106 Simon, Julian L.: Good Mood 84–5; optimistic environmentalism of 62–3, 64, 84, 146; as realist/Realist 58–64; The State of Humanity 57, 58; The Ultimate Resource 2 57–8, 60, 61 Skocpol, Theda 109 Sørenson, Georg see Jackson, Robert sociology 7–8 Spielberg, Steven, Minority Report 33–4 Sports Utility Vehicles 43–4, 104, 135, 137, 140 states: and capitalism 72–3; and non-traditional threats 21–2, 29, 39; security strategies within 135; self-interest of 3, 15, 21, 39, 97; as “tame zones” 43, 44 Stephanopoulos, George 106 Strydom, Piet 61, 64 Summers, Lawrence 107 Sununu, John 102 surveillance 33–4, 135 “techno-optimistic” assumptions 11, 63–4, 80–1, 86–7, 119; critique of 87–8; and politics of security 121–2; as rational 127 technological fundamentalism 88–9 technology: and environmental regulations 76–7; ethical limits on 25; and fossil fuel economy 74; and global threats 134–5; innovation 63, 86; military-scientific 44; and politics 37–8 terrorism 23;

Index

141

compared with global warming 94, see also War on Terror Tester, Keith 7 Thatcher, Margaret 70, 102 think-tanks 64–72; “liberal” 70; origins of 68–9 threats: capacity of Great Power to manage climate change instability 39–41; construction of 131–2; hierarchy of 25–6, 27–8, 31–4, 39, 50, 55; and line between First-Order and Second-Order problems 130; non-traditional (Second Order) 5, 21–2, 25; “traditional” (First Order) 5, 22–3, 26, 49, see also China; climate change: fear Todorov, Tvestan 4 TotalFinaElf, in Burma 141 Turner, Ted 107, 113 uncertainty: and climate change 34–41; legitimate and illegitimate 51, 125; science of 34, 53, 149, see also insecurity unemployment, fear of 9 unilateralism 21; of Bush Administration 17 United Kingdom, think-tanks 70 United Mine Workers of America 104 United Nations, in Yugoslavia 142 United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) 36, 145 United Nations Framework on Climate Change 46 United States: Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs (OES) 102; Byrd-Hagel Resolution (1997) 104, 112; car dependency 136; and Caspian Sea oil and gas 98–9; and climate change instability 40, 41; and climate change policies 36, 64, 103–4; conservative fundamentalism in 133; effects of climate change on 77–8, 79; and EPA report 47–8; expenditure on security 100; foreign policy 6, 14–15, 21–2, 98; Future Years Defense Plan (Pentagon 2000) 100; liberal view of international relations (Clinton) 18–19; National Defense Panel paper 134; National Energy Report (Pentagon 2001) 45, 47, 93; networks of Realism in 18, 26–7;

Index

142

policy-making power elites 92–5, 107; political funding 112; Quadrennial Defense Review 27; rejection of Kyoto 104, 112–13, 115–16; and Rio Earth Summit 102, 103–4; role of think-tanks 66–7; and sub-Saharan Africa 99; trade with China 108 universities 66, 67 Unocal 141, 142 Venter, Craig 134–5 Vietnam 6, 44 Viotti, Mark, and Paul Kauppi, International Relations and World Politics 145 Virilio, Paul 4, 5, 6, 13, 82; and moral anxiety 130; on politics of fear 10; on technology and politics 37, 88–9 Wall Street Journal 113, 117, 134 Walt, Stephen M. 13, 31 Waltz, Kenneth 13, 17 War on Terror 96–7, 141; as First-Order threat 27, 142 warfare 15; over energy resources 41–8 water supplies 46 Wattenberg, Ben 58, 61–2 Weinberger, Caspar 116 Wendt, Alexander 16, 66 Wilson, Edward O., on climate change 35–6 Wired magazine 24, 25, 58, 62, 134 Wirth, Timothy 103, 107 Wolfowitz, Paul 17–18, 117 World Climate Conference (1979) 36 World Conference on the Changing Atmosphere (Toronto 1988) 36 World Meteorological Association 36 World Trade Organization 23 World Wildlife Fund 144 worst-case scenarios 65, 85, 131; and human resourcefulness 88–9; and strategies of fear 131 Yellen, Janet 107 Yugoslavia 142